Sam Groth, a qualifier for the main draw was knocked out in the semi-finals of the ATP Challenger at Nottingham as he lost to Thomas Fabbiano in two sets, 6-4, 6-3 on Centre Court at the AEGON Open Nottingham.
An impressive tournament for Groth
No one can argue with the fact that the Australian has had a superb tournament with a helping hand from his lethal serve. He actually had to qualify for the main draw last weekend but still managed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. Throughout the tournament so far, Groth has seen off the likes of Finn Bass, Peter Polansky, John-Patrick Smith and more. Currently ranked at No. 198 in the world, Groth will be pleased with his progress this tournament ahead of a busy summer of tennis.
However, he knew he was going to face a tough opposition in the form of Thomas Fabbiano. The 28-year-old Italian is one of the highest seeds in this tournament and has shown that with his quality so far. Currently ranked at No. 101 in the world, he has already seen off some very good players in the tournament so far. He did have to play an extra set than Groth yesterday in the quarter-finals. He beat Sergiy Stakhovsky from Ukraine, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6. Due to his pedigree, there is no doubt that Fabbiano came into this match as favourite.
A tight first set goes Fabbiano's way
Groth made a poor start to the opening set with several double faults in the early stages which allowed Fabianno to break in the opening game. Groth was able to hold his serve for the remainder of the set with relative ease.
However, Fabianno was able to take advantage of that early break by continuing to hold his own serve aswell. The Italian eventually served out the set to take it 6-4 and put himself in the driving seat.
Groth's frustration allows Fabbiano to dominate
There is no doubt that Groth had done well already to get to this stage of the competition despite having to qualify for the main draw. However, he started to let his frustration get the better of him in the second set. Fabianno got off to the perfect start as he did in the opening set by immediately breaking Groth’s serve to go 1-0 up. This led to Groth blasting a ball off court in frustration resulting in a warning from the umpire in relation to ball abuse.
As in the first set, both players remained consistent on their serve until the final game. This saw Fabianno break for the second time and seal the second set 6-3 and the match 2-0.
What next for Fabbiano?
Fabianno will now come up against Dudi Sela of Israel in the final of the ATP Challenger on Centre Court tomorrow. Sela will take part in tomorrow’s final after his semi-final opponent Marius Copil was forced to retire through injury. However, Sela had already taken the first set 7-6 and was leading the second 1-0.
It will be interesting to see whether this will give Sela an advantage in tomorrow’s final in regards to freshness. However, Fabianno’s match against Groth lasted one hour and 17 minutes which should not cause too much of an issue. After the match the Italian stated that he is “in good shape at the moment” and that he “hopes to continue (playing well) in this grass season.”