UMAG, July 20, 2019
Attila Balazs advanced to his first title match on the ATP Tour winning Saturday’s semi-finals of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag 6-2, 6-4 against No. 3 seed Laslo Djere of Serbia.
Balazs, who battled through the qualifying and had to go the distance in his main draw matches against Viktor Galovic of Croatia, Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic and Stefano Travaglia from Italy, broke Djere’s serve four times to secure victory in straight sets after one hour and 38 minutes.
Attila the THRILLA!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 20, 2019
“It’s been an amazing week for me. I do not play tour-level events every week. I was seven match points down in the first round. To reach the final here is very special,” said Balazs, currently ranked World No. 207, during his post-match press conference.
“Umag is one of the best places on the tour. It’s very close to my country. I played a couple of ITF-Futures here in the past. In 2017, I passed the qualies of the ATP event here and lost in the second round against David Goffin. I always like it here,” said Balazs, who clinched 29 ITF Pro Circuit singles titles in his career as well as one trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour at Palermo 2010.
Balazs also had to cope with some injuries in the past, which gave him the chance to find a new hobby. “When I was sidelined from the courts I played a lot of snooker. I really like the game and for sure after my tennis career I will try to play more professional in the future,” the 30-year-old Hungarian stated and added that he plans to watch some of the world’s best in the game.
Next up in Umag will be Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, who benefited from the retirement of Italian Salvatore Caruso, who appeared his first semi-final on the ATP Tour. Lajovic was leading 7-5 when the 26-year-old qualifier was forced to stop playing due to injury.
Balazs is leading the head-to-head record with Lajovic 2-1. He also won the last meeting between the two at the qualifying of the Hungarian Open in Budapest 2017. The 29-year-old Serbian is also bidding to lift his maiden ATP Tour trophy. He finished runner-up to Fabio Fognini at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters earlier in the season.
Haase/Oswald take doubles title
Teaming up for the first time this week, Philipp Oswald from Austria and Dutchman Robin Haase clinched the doubles trophies. The No.2 seeds fought past the tournament’s top seeded Austrians Oliver Marach and Jürgen Melzer, winning 7-5, 6-7(2), 14-12.
Oswald and Haase, who also lifted the trophy in Istria last year alongside Matwe Middelkoop, saved two match points to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.
Another long night in Umag. Robin Haase 🇳🇱 & @OswaldPhilipp 🇦🇹 save two match points in the doubles final against Oliver Marach & Jürgen Melzer to clinch their first team title at @CroatiaOpenUmag pic.twitter.com/Zffl9VOATH
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) July 20, 2019
“We had to save match points in our first match here and were the lucky team in the end today. We had a lot of fun and I am very happy to win the title here in Umag,” Oswald told Tennis TourTalk.
“We played pretty clever and showed some positive energy on the court. I think that we deserved to win in the end,” Haase added.