Date: 11 April 2021
Tournament: Sardegna Open 2021
Venue: Cagliari, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €408,800
Match timing: 1 pm local time, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Lorenzo Sonego vs Laslo Djere preview
The final of the 2021 Sardegna Open will see defending champion Laslo Djere square off against home hope Lorenzo Sonego on Sunday.
Djere dismissed Nikoloz Basilashvili with ease in his semifinal on Saturday, winning 6-2, 6-0. Sonego, on the other hand, was part of a 159-minute long tussle with Taylor Fritz, whom he ultimately defeated 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.
Sonego was ousted in the second round of the Sardegna Open last year. But this time the 25-year-old has looked determined to amend his record at his home event, and has played some fine tennis throughout the week.
Sonego started his campaign by overcoming Gilles Simon in straight sets, before outlasting Yannick Hanfmann and Taylor Fritz in three-set duels. The Italian can now boast of at least one title-round appearance on each of the three surfaces - hardcourt, grass and clay.
On Sunday, Sonego will be bidding to become the first Italian to win a claycourt title on home soil in 15 years.
Laslo Djere, meanwhile, is on a nine-match winning streak at the Sardegna Open, dating back to last year's edition. The Serb has dropped only two sets (both to Lorenzo Musetti) in these two runs, which is ample evidence of his claycourt skills.
Djere has a spotless record in ATP finals so far. Apart from his Sardegna Open title last year, the 25-year-old's only other appearance in the summit clash of a tournament also resulted in victory - at the 2019 Rio Open.
Djere has accounted for John Millman, Lorenzo Musetti and Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Sardegna Open this year. Having beaten opponents with significantly varied skill sets already, the Serb would be confident ahead of his clash against Sonego on Sunday.
Lorenzo Sonego vs Laslo Djere head-to-head
The head-to-head between Lorenzo Sonego and Laslo Djere is tied at 1-1. They have played once before on clay (Marrakech 2019), where Sonego triumphed in straight sets with a 6-3, 6-3 scoreline.
Lorenzo Sonego vs Laslo Djere prediction
Laslo Djere has gone about his business at the Sardegna Open with aplomb. He has defended resolutely and pulled the trigger when needed, nullifying the strengths of all his opponents in the process.
Lorenzo Sonego, on his part, has the power to hit through most players even on clay. But it won't be easy for him to do so against a player who returns and moves as well as his opponent on Sunday.
Djere is likely to target Sonego's backhand in the crosscourt exchanges, so the Italian would have to protect his weaker wing by varying the pace and spin on it. Sonego would also have to go for his forehand as early as possible, since indulging in lengthy drawn-out exchanges will favor Djere.
The Serb's patience has been a big weapon for him this week, and it is likely to help him get the result he wants on Sunday.
Prediction: Laslo Djere to win in three sets.