Date: 18 October 2020
Tournament: Forte Village Sardegna Open 2020
Venue: Sardinia, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €271,345
Match timing: 12 pm CEST, 3.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Marco Cecchinato vs Laslo Djere preview
Marco Cecchinato has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in Sardinia this week and takes on World No. 74 Laslo Djere in the final on Sunday looking to seal his fourth career title.
Cecchinato had fallen off the rails after a successful 2018 season in which he defeated Novak Djokovic en route to the semi-finals of the French Open. The Italian failed to kick on from that result and has since dropped outside the ATP's top 100.
However, he seems to have hit a purple patch, following up a third-round showing at this year's French Open with an inspired run in Sardinia. The Italian saved a match point against countryman Gianluca Mager in his first match, before hitting his stride.
Cecchinato defeated America's Tommy Paul and Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach the last four, where he thrashed first-time ATP Tour semifinalist Danilo Petrovic 6-1, 6-0.
His opponent on Sunday, Laslo Djere, has also struggled this year. The Serb failed to make it through qualifying at the 2020 Western & Southern Open before losing in the first round of the US Open.
He found some form in Kitzbuhel to start off the European clay-court swing, advancing to the semifinals but suffered another setback when he lost to Kevin Anderson in the first round of the French Open.
However, the Serb has bounced back in Sardinia, where he progressed to the semifinals without dropping a set. In his last-four clash with Lorenzo Musetti, Djere dropped the opening set but recovered to take the second 6-2 before the promising Italian was forced to retire while trailing 4-1 in the decider.
Marco Cecchinato vs Laslo Djere head-to-head
Marco Cecchinato leads the head-to-head against Laslo Djere 1-0 by virtue of his straight-sets victory in Umag two years ago.
Marco Cecchinato vs Laslo Djere prediction
The final in Sardinia will feature two players with fundamentally contrasting styles of play. Laslo Djere has a solid baseline game, built around his eye-catching backhand. Djere is capable of striking the ball with pace and enjoys longer exchanges from the back of the court.
Cecchinato, on the other hand, has a much more expansive game which can often leak unforced errors. The Italian has a devastating single-handed backhand, which will be put to the test against Djere's two-hander in crosscourt exchanges.
Cecchinato also has plenty of variety in his game and the drop-shot, which he uses quite frequently to change the pace of rallies, will play an important role on Sunday.
Prediction: Marco Cecchinato to win in three sets.Published 18 Oct 2020, 00:18 IST