Emotional Djere wins maiden ATP title

Emotional Djere wins maiden ATP title

MEMORABLE DAY: Serbia's Laslo Djere with the Rio Open trophy after defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada on Sunday. REUTERS

Laslo Djere won his first ATP title at the Rio Open on Sunday and then captured the hearts of the Brazilian crowd with a victory speech dedicated to his parents, both of whom died from cancer.

The unseeded Serbian beat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 7-5 in the final to cap the best week of his career before choking back the tears as he dedicated the trophy to his parents.

"I lost my mom seven years ago so I want to dedicate this one to her," he said to wild applause from the crowd.

"And also to my dad, I lost him two months ago. My parents had the biggest impact on me and, because of them, I am who I am today. I hope they are watching me now."

The 23-year-old, ranked number 90 in the world coming into this tournament, broke twice in the decisive second set to beat Auger-Aliassime, who was the youngest man to reach an ATP 500 final.

The plucky 18-year-old Canadian saved four match points before succumbing to the unseeded right-hander, who had not won a match on clay all season and had never beaten a top 10 rival until he arrived in Rio.

He hammered world number eight Dominic Thiem in the first round, however, and did not lose a set on his way to clinching the title in impressive style.

Djere broke Auger-Aliassime six times in the two-hour final and was commanding with both his powerful forehands and two-handed backhands.


Albot triumphs

Radu Albot saved three championship points to beat Dan Evans 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) in the Delray Beach Open final in Florida on Sunday and become the first player from Moldova to win an ATP title.

In a high-quality match that stretched for nearly three hours, Albot displayed nerves of steel in the dramatic final tiebreak, staving off defeat with a series of clutch shots.

British qualifier Evans missed his match-point opportunities by the barest of margins and then, with Albot on his first match point, double-faulted to hand the Moldovan the title.

The crowd was quiet for a few seconds before the ball was confirmed wide and Albot started to celebrate.

"It feels unbelievable," said 29-year-old Albot. "You work your whole life, your whole career, and at the end you win a tournament.

ATP records show Albot is only the second player from Moldova to crack the top 200 in the rankings. The first was Roman Borvanov, who reached a career-high No 200 and supported Albot in the crowd all week.