Dudi Sela won the ATP Challenger title at the AEGON Open in Nottingham this afternoon as he beat Italian Thomas Fabbiano in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Impossible to call
Currently ranked at No. 101, Fabbiano has impressed many with his performances throughout the tournament so far. He is looking to get himself back into the top 100 which he did manage for a brief spell last year. He sealed a place in today's final with a relatively comfortable win against Sam Groth in two sets yesterday, 6-4, 6-3 in their semi-final match. Groth later stated that he found Fabbiano 'too good' on his day as the Italian progressed through to today's final. He will have been itching to get his hands on the trophy.
He knew he was going to be in for a difficult match coming up against Israeli player Sela. He is currently ranked at No. 75 in the world and is capable of putting in some great performances. Sela sealed a place in today's final after his semi-final opponent, Marius Copil, was forced to retire through injury. This will not have been the way Sela would have wanted to progress into today's final but he had already claimed the first set 7-6 and had already broken in the second. He would have been hoping that his quick passage into the final could give him an edge in regards to freshness for this one.
Fabbiano takes control in first set
The Italian managed to hold his serve in the opening game to go 1-0 up despite a double fault. He had an opportunity to break in the second game but Sela held to make it 1-1. Two perfect service games from both players then levelled it up at 2-2 before two further holds of serve to make it 3-3.
Following a further two holds of serve to make it 4-4, Fabbiano managed to hold his serve once more to make it 5-4 despite Sela putting a significant amount of pressure on the Italian as he looked to break. However, it was in fact Fabbiano who broke in the next game as he took advantage of his second break point to take the opening set 6-4.
Sela forces a deciding set
Sela was visibly determined to get himself back into this final after his disappointment of losing the opening set. He made good progress towards doing this as he broke in the third game to go 2-1 up after a double fault from Fabbiano earlier on in the game proved costly. However, he let himself down by allowing the Italian to break straight back and make it 2-2.
This was followed by two consecutive holds to make it 3-3 despite Fabbiano having two break points in the sixth game. He was punished for not taking advantage of these in just the following game as Sela broke himself with his first break point to go 4-3 up. He then took the second set 6-4 after a further three consecutive holds of serve from both players.
Israeli goes on to win ATP Challenger title
It was Sela who made the best possible start to this deciding set as he carried his momentum from the second set into the third. He immediately broke Fabbiano's serve in the opening game to go 1-0 up and followed this up by holding his serve after some superb points were played between the two players. He could have gone 3-0 up but wasted two break points as Fabbiano managed to hang on. However, Sela did manage to break gain in the fifth game with an extravagant diving volley to go 4-1 ahead.
Despite the Centre Court crowd possibly thinking this match was all over, Fabbiano made it interesting by breaking with his second break point to reduce the deficit to 4-2. This was followed by two comfortable holds of serve from both players as Sela went 5-3 ahead. The Israeli then broke Fabbiano's serve for the third time in the set as he took advantage of his first break point to take the third set 6-3 and the match 2-1.