(Reuters) – Nearly three years after reversing his decision to retire from the sport, Hungarian qualifier Attila Balazs reached his maiden ATP final with a 6-2 6-4 victory over third seed Laslo Djere at the Croatia Open on Saturday.
Balazs, 30, faces another Serbian in the final in fourth seed Dusan Lajovic, who advanced after his opponent Salvatore Caruso was forced to retire in their semi-final due to a leg injury having dropped the first set 7-5.
Injury woes forced Balazs to prematurely end his career in August 2014, four years after reaching a career-high ranking of number 153. But a future in coaching did not satisfy him and he returned in 2016 and has since reached number 207.
Lajovic is also seeking his first title after the world number 36 missed out in April, losing in straight sets to Italian Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters final.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)