Clay specialist Cecchinato lifts Croatia title on return to red dirt

For the second time this year, Marco Cecchinato was celebrating an ATP World Tour title after lifting the Croatia Open Umag trophy.

Marco Cecchinato in action at Eastbourne   -  Getty Images

Marco Cecchinato's breakthrough year on the ATP Tour continued apace at the Croatia Open Umag as he collected a second career title with a straight-sets win over Guido Pella.

The Italian has thrived on clay in 2018 and reached the semifinals of the French Open, beating Novak Djokovic along the way.

His performances on grass were less impressive at Eastbourne and Wimbledon, but a return to the red dirt brought another tournament victory.

READ: Johnson beats Ramkumar to claim Newport title

Cecchinato dominated the opening set and moved ahead 6-2 with ease, converting two of the three break chances he fashioned on the Pella serve.

Finishing off the match proved a tougher task as Pella upped his game, the Argentine taking a 4-2 lead at one point before Cecchinato rallied.

Having forced a tie-break, the world number 27 raced into a 4-0 lead, a deficit Pella could not recover as Cecchinato completed a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory.