RIO DE JANEIRO, February 25, 2019
In his first-ever match at the Rio Open by Claro, Laslo Djere of Serbia beat World No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the opening round for his first-ever Top 10 victory. From there, he went all the way to his first ATP Tour final, where he defeated 18-year-old Canadian wild card entry Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3. 7-5 to win his first singles title.
Djere capitalized on six of his 14 break point chances to secure victory in exactly two hour of play.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 24. Februar 2019
“It’s been the week of my dreams. So many things have been achieved here,” said Djere. “I’m really happy, excited and emotional now. I’m happy I could push through this match because it was very tough mentally and physically.”
The 23-year-old Serbian, who jumped over 50 spots in the ATP Rankings to crack the Top 40 on Monday, earned 500 ATP Rankings points and $369,000 in prize money.
Great week for Auger-Aliassime
Prior to his deep run in Rio, Auger-Aliassime was still looking to break into the Top 100 for the first time in his career. One week later, he leaves the tournament having not only accomplished the feat, he finds himself at World No. 60, having moved up over 40 spots in the course of a week. Furthermore, the teenager became the youngest finalist of an ATP 500 event since the introduction of this category of tournament in 2009. He was also looking to become the youngest winner of an ATP Tour title since Kei Nishikori in 2008.
After Sunday’s final, Auger-Aliassime talked about the positives that he would take away from his impressive run in Rio.
“Or course it’s a little bit disappointing for me, seeing as I was playing for a chance to win my first title today. But at the same time, I won’t lose too much sleep over the loss because I know that I have accomplished good things this week and I will build on the positives. My serve fell apart today, which is frustrating because I was serving well all week and I knew that I could do better. But these are things that happen, and it proves that I just have to get better and mature as a player and as a person in order to give myself more chances to win a title. Today’s final is already in the past for me, now I just want to recover from this emotional week and get ready for the next tournament in Sao Paulo.”