Thomas Fabbiano will go in search of his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title of his career on Sunday after he defeated qualifier and crowd favourite Sam Groth 6-4, 6-3 in the opening semifinal of the day at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.
* Article originally published by me for UBITennis.net *
The fourth seed got off to a fast start, breaking the big-serving Australian in the first game of the match and even had chances to go up a double break in the third game before Groth got a game on the board.
In a fast-paced first set play continued to go on serve leaving the Italian with the task of closing it out. Fabbiano squandered two set points after he missed two attempted forehand down the line winners wide. After Groth broke down first in the two extended rallies at deuce, the fourth seed made sure he took the third chance following a netted backhand from the Australian.
Fabbiano, who will go up to a career high ranking following his performances this week, made the same start in the second set to take control of the match, going up an early break. Groth had the opportunity to break back in the fourth game but missed a backhand wide much to his frustration as his opponent pulled two games in front once more.
Play continued to go with serve until Groth was left serving to stay in the match. The crowd were fully behind the Australian, but two volleys dumped into the net and a double fault to finish ended his hopes in Nottingham as Fabbiano celebrated victory playing out on Centre Court for the first time.
The fourth seed will now face 2011 champion and third seed Dudi Sela in Sunday’s final after the Israeli led 7-6(4), 1-0 before his opponent Marius Copil retired.