Pellegrino Rallies To Layjet Open Title In Bad Waltersdorf

Andrea Pellegrino (photo: Layjet Open)


Andrea Pellegrino has claimed the title of the inaugural Layjet Open held at the Sportaktivpark Bad Waltersdorf, a picturesque spa town nestled in the heart of Styria, Austria. The 26-year-old Italian outlasted home favourite Dennis Novak 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 in Monday’s singles final.

For Novak, the day already began at 11:00 a.m. local time with the continuation of the semi-final against Czech Vit Kopriva, which was interrupted due to darkness on Sunday. In the second set, Novak saved five match points. In the decisive set, the Austrian broke his opponent’s serve twice and advanced to the final, prevailing 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 in two hours and 40 minutes.

Later in the day and in front of 1,000 spectators on Center Court, Pellegrino overcame a 6-1, 4-0 deficit, withstood 11 aces and broke Novak’s serve six times to secure victory in two hours and 11 minutes.

This has been the biggest title of my career. I had a lot of tough matches. This title win means a lot to me and I hope to continue like that,” said Pellegrino, who captured his third ATP Challenger Tour career title, his first of the season.

“He was playing unbelievable at the beginning of the match but then started to make some mistakes. I came back in the second set and started to believe that I could win it. It was a big fight until the end.

“It was an unbelievable week. It is very nice tournament. I felt like being at home. All people were very nice. I hope to come back,” said Pellegrino, who will next travel to South America for a three-week clay-court swing. He earned €19,650 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.

“I started to ponder a bit when I had a clear lead because I haven’t been in such a situation for a long time. I got a little nervous and had a brief drop in energy, and he took full advantage of it. I somehow felt like nothing was coming out of my racket anymore. He didn’t make any more mistakes,” described Novak the phases in which the final had turned.

“Yesterday I turned it around, today I let it slip away – unfortunately, it evens out. There were also one or two points in the tie-break that I should have played better to the end. I am disappointed right now. I somehow should have brought it home, but in the end he deserved to win it,” added Novak, who improved his ATP Live Ranking position to World No. 194 with the 75 ATP Ranking points he earned in Bad Waltersdorf.