Dusan Lajovic pulled off a stunner on Saturday to reach the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final, winning 12 of the final 13 games from 1-5 down to defeat Russian Daniil Medvedev. Not only is this his first ATP Masters 1000 final, but it’s his first ATP Tour championship match. Lajovic’s only previous quarter-final at this level came last year in Madrid, where he defeated Juan Martin del Potro.
“If he’s able to play every tournament as he has been playing this one, I’m sure he’s going to become Top 20 after the clay court season,” Medvedev said of Lajovic.
ATPTour.com takes a closer look at the 28-year-old Serbian…
1. Playing Tennis Was A Coincidence
In a way, there was a bit of luck involved with Lajovic becoming a tennis player. Tennis was the only sport available for his age group when the Serbian began playing at seven.
If he did not become a tennis player, the 28-year-old would have tried competing in football. Lajovic is an avid FC Barcelona fan.
2. The Serbian Made A Key Change
Two-and-a-half years ago, Lajovic hired Jose Perlas as his coach. Perlas has worked with the likes of Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Guillermo Coria, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Fabio Fognini and Lajovic’s countryman, Janko Tipsarevic.
Lajovic says that Perlas is one of the best coaches on the ATP Tour, and he feels that decision was a boon for his career.
“This was the key change to finally work on the right things in my tennis and to finally believe that I can do this,” Lajovic told ATP Tennis Radio. “Obviously if he believes that I can do it I have to believe it myself and I started believing, so that’s the biggest change I would say in my game.”
Listen To ATP Tennis Radio’s Recent Interview With Lajovic:
3. He Owns A Coffee Shop
Lajovic owns a coffee shop in Belgrade called “Laboratorije Kafe”. While he does not have his own coffee line like Indian doubles star Rohan Bopanna, Lajovic enjoys the cafe.
“It’s in the building where I live, so it’s really handy. I wake up, I go for a coffee,” Lajovic said. “We have all these chemical glasses for the smoothies. It’s a little bit like a nerdy cafe. But I enjoy spending my time there and it’s more of a hobby than any business idea. It’s great to have something besides tennis and I’m interested in a lot of things, so this is one of them.”
4. Lajovic Underwent Hernia Surgery 16 Months Ago
Lajovic underwent a hernia surgery on 1 November 2017, and he would lose six of his first seven tour-level matches in 2018. Dating back to the end of 2017, he lost 10 of 11 matches. And while that lull saw him drop from the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since September 2015, he has been on the rise ever since.
The Belgrade native’s best ATP Ranking before the surgery was 57th in October 2014. But he is currently 48th in the world and he is projected to crack the Top 25 on Monday, which will be his career-best.
5. He Has Been Battling A Blister This Week
You wouldn’t be able to tell by his form in the Principality, but Lajovic has struggled with a blister throughout the tournament. Nevertheless, he has not lost a set en route to the final.
“It’s pain every day. It takes a while to get ready to go on the court,” Lajovic said. “I’m going to cut that toe off if it means I can play tomorrow.”