OPATIJA, April 2, 2017
Laslo Djere captured the title of the $15,000 ITF Futures Opatija, the final stop of the 45th edition of the Istarska Rivijera clay court swing. The top seed from Serbia defeated second favourite Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Blue sky, a lot of sunshine and pleasent temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius as well as about 100 spectators set the scene for the singles title match at the local tennis club. Djere was in control of most of the rallies, as Kolar produced too many unforced errors, and the 21-year-old Serbian gained a break in the 11th game of the opening set to serve the frame out in the following.
Djere, who won 67 per cent of his first service points, broke in the seventh game of the second set to secure victory in one hour and 54 minutes.
“I served quite well and wanted to win the title,” Djere told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “The actual goal was to get to the final but of course I wanted to win this match as well. So I put some extra effort into the encounter, made some good choices of shots and fought until the end.”
Before the World No. 196 had come to Croatia, he had only won one match out of his first nine encounters in 2017. “I hope that this trophy will bring some confidence back but we will see. I am going to play the ATP Challenger in Sophia Antipolis next week, where I will meet Paul-Henri Mathieu in the first round. Last year, I showed that I can achieve some good results against top 100 players. So, I just need to believe in myself and sooner or later the results will come,” Djere stated but didn’t want to talk about goals for the season in terms of ranking positions.
“Every year I set ranking goals but so far I haven’t never managed to achieve them,” he explained with a smile. “I would like to get into the top 100 but before it would be also nice to crack my career high ranking of World No. 170. I also want to win my first Challenger title after competing in three finals.”
By clinching his ninth ITF Pro Circuit title, Djere takes away €1,944 in prize money as well as 18 ATP Ranking points. The four weeks ITF clay court swing will return to Istria next spring.