Defending champion Laslo Djere pulls out of Rio Open

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Defending champion Laslo Djere pulls out of Rio Open

The Rio Open organizers have suffered a blow as defending champion Laslo Djere has been forced to withdraw from the tournament. Djere had been drawn to meet Spain's Pablo Andujar in the Rio Open first round but instead it will be Fernando Verdasco who will be taking on the 34-year-old Spaniard.

The Serb put up a sensational run in his Rio de Janeiro debut last year to win his maiden ATP title. Back in 2019, the 24-year-old won four matches in straight sets and was given one walkover en route to making it all the way in Rio de Janeiro.

Djere, ranked at No. 35, played in each of the past two weeks but unfortunately he won't be playing for the third consecutive week. The Serb kicked off his campaign at the Golden Swing with a semifinal showing at the Cordoba Open, while he made round-of-16 at this week's Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.

Djere started well his Buenos Aires round-of-16 match but his game absolutely fell apart after he won the opening set as Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero beat the Serb 6-7 (3) 6-2 6-1.