Dudi Sela made the final of the ATP Challenger at Nottingham earlier today as he beat Marius Copil on Centre Court at the AEGON Open Nottingham. Sela was leading 7-6, 1-0 when Copil had to retire through injury.
An unpredictable encounter
Romanian player Copil came into this match ranked No. 91 in the world and has achieved a lot in his career despite only being 26-years-old. He is a member of the Romanian Davis Cup team and one of his most lethal assets is his serve, similarly to that of Sam Groth. He has previously hit serves at around the 150mph mark. He achieved this serve at the 2015 Australian Open and it remains the fastest serve at a Grand Slam to date. He came into this match desperate to make Sunday's final in what would have been one of the highlights of his career.
In comparison, his opponent, Sela from Israel, came into this match ranked as No. 75 in the world and has been ranked as high as No. 29 in his career. He has provided many upsets down the years and has beaten the likes of Fernando Gonzalez, David Ferrer and Andy Roddick in the past. He managed to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2009 and has also finished runner-up in two ATP tournaments. He came into this match desperate to make Sunday's final and make even more of a name for himself.
A tight first set goes Sela's way
Sela made a very fast to proceedings in the opening set. He raced into a 2-0 lead as he broke Copil’s serve in just the second game of the match. However, Copil was able to break straight back to make it 2-1. His joy was not to last long as Sela broke for the second time to go 3-1 ahead. Remarkably, Copil broke again for the fourth consecutive break of serve to make it 3-2 to Sela. Finally, Copil was able to hold to level it at 3-3 despite Sela going 0-30 up.
This was followed up with five consecutive holds of serve as the two players finally managed to sort out their serving. Sela could not take advantage of two break points in the twelfth game as Copil managed to hang on and send the set into a tie break at 6-6. Sela managed to win the tie break 7-3 and the opening set 7-6.
Copil forced to retire as Sela goes through
It did not take long for Sela to take control of the second set as he broke early on to make it 1-0, despite losing his footing in the process. However, in a decision which shocked the crowd, Copil announced his retirement from the game through injury. This saw Sela progress into Sunday’s ATP Challenger final.
What next for Sela?
Sela will now come up against Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in the final of the ATP Challenger on Centre Court tomorrow. Fabbiano will take part in tomorrow’s final after he beat his semi-final opponent Sam Groth in two sets, 6-4, 6-3.