American Sam Querrey booked his place in the sold-out Aegon Open Nottingham final against Denis Istomin, after coming from a set down to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 4-6 6-3 7-5. Uzbekistan’s Istomin reached his first ATP final following his last four opponent Marcos Baghdatis retired with the Cypriot suffering a calf injury while leading 2-1 and having broken serve inside 26 minutes.
With Istomin ahead of him, fellow big-server Querrey anticipates an explosive showdown at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. Querrey said: “He has a similar game to mine. He’s got a big serve, I’m probably have a bigger forehand, he might have a bigger backhand, but he’s tough and does well on grass. I’ve played him on grass a couple of times, so it’s going to be another tough one.”
World No. 44 Querrey is looking to end a three-year ATP World Tour title drought, having last collected silverware in Los Angeles in 2012. “Any time you can lift the trophy and win the tournament, it’s a good feeling. It’s a good way to go into Wimbledon with some confidence,” he continued.
After dropping just one set on his way to the final, Istomin, who is yet to win an ATP World Tour crown, says he is delighted to have taken down top players including two seeds. He said: “Since the first round I’ve had a tough draw. The tournament here is so tough. I’m just happy to beat them. I’ve had very good matches, just today there was luck on my side. But, in general, I’m happy with my game level. It’s good preparation for Wimbledon. I’ve played two finals already. For me, it’s the next game. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first round or the final. I’ll just go on court and try to win.”
Meanwhile, former World No. 8 Baghdatis felt hard done by when he pulled up feeling his leg after only three games played on Centre Court. “I cannot explain exactly when I felt it, but I felt my calf pop,” the 2006 Australian Open finalist said. “I think it’s when I pushed (off for a serve) and when I landed I heard a pop. It’s just bad luck, that’s all there is to it. It hurts a bit that it finishes this way. But it’s the way things happen in life."
Elsewhere, British hopes in the doubles competition were ended when Scotland’s Colin Fleming and his partner Eric Butorac narrowly lost their semi-final encounter in a championship tiebreak against Australian Chris Guccione and Andre Sa of Brazil 2-6 6-2 11-9. Guccione and Sa go on to face second seeds Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero in the final, which begins on Centre Court from 12 noon, followed by the singles final not before 2pm.