Cecchinato was the favorite to win the match but nothing seemed to support that at the very beginning. The two played in the afternoon, when the court was still quite fast. Also, as Vesely has a fantastic serve and can certainly drop some bombs on his opponents, it was very difficult for Cecchinato to control Vesely’s shots. The Italian struggled at first but then slowly started getting back into the match and ultimately managed to confirm his status as the favorite. Also, near the end of the match, Vesely started experiencing cramps and could no longer move very well on the court, which gave an opening to Cecchinato.
Moving on. I have to admit, this was my first time seeing Laslo Đere in action, and I have to say, I liked what I saw. He moved well, he played well, and rightfully defeated Maximilian Marterer. Although, he was broken after leading 5:3 and 40:15, which complicated things a bit. The set needlessly went into tiebreak but Đere pulled through and sprang a small surprise, if we are to judge the two players on their current rankings alone. On the other hand, judging on the two players’ performance, Đere deservedly won as he had played much better than the German. After all, in the first round of this tournament he defeated Cuevas, who had claimed the title here a few years ago.
Another Serbian tennis player, Dušan Lajović, also advanced in the tournament. Lajović has been playing well all season long, and I would even say he is this year’s dark horse here in Umag. His coach is Jose Perlas, who used to work with Alex Corretja, Carlos Moya and Fabio Fognini, and has proven himself to be an excellent coach. It is clear that Lajović has improved greatly by working with Perlas, which means he could even defeat a clay specialist such as Ramos-Vinolas.
As far as Croatians in the doubles competition are concerned, we have had some mixed results. Partnered with Belorussia’s Andrei Vasilevski, Antonio Šančić failed to advance further in the tournament. As expected, however, Franko Škugor and Dominic Inglot won their match. They recently played the semifinals at Wimbledon, they are top seeds here, and are expected to do great.
As for Thursday, we have some great matches coming up, but the most interesting one, in my opinion, should be the one between Haase and Kližan. They are both extremely talented but can be a bit crazy sometimes. Fucsovics, who I believe is one of the favorites to win this tournament, will face Trungelliti, and afterwards, we will get to see the clash of two young stars, Rublev and Auger-Aliassime.