NOTTINGHAM, June 24, 2016
Pablo Cuevas and Steve Johnson will compete in Saturday’s final of the Aegon Open Nottingham. Cuevas rallied to beat Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6, 6-4. The second seed from Uruguay withstood 24 aces, hitting 13 of his own. After a slow start, Cuevas found his rhythm and gained the decisive break in the fifth game of the final set to prevail in two hours and two minutes.
“Gilles served well in the beginning of the match but I stayed calm and started to return better in the second and third set and played my best tennis towards the end of the encounter,” Cuveas said and has been pleased with his achievement during this week so far.
“I am so happy to reach my first final on grass. I beat an excellent player on this surface today. I hope that I can enjoy the final tomorrow,” he told after getting to his third title match of the season. Earlier this year, the world number 25 lifted the trophies during the Brazilian swing in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
“I won two tournaments on clay and of course I feel more comfortable on this surface, but I have been working hard in Uruguay on grass, trying to improve step by step and I have gained more confidence. The movement is different as well as how you hit the ball. After winning four matches here, it’s the first time that I am also feeling comfortable on the grass. It’s a good feeling.”
Cuevas will play Steve Johnson for the first time. The tournament’s number six started the day with the resumption of his quarterfinal encounter with top seed Kevin Anderson. The match was suspended on Thursday with the South African leading 6-7, 7-5, 4-3 on serve due to darkness. Johnson had clinched the final set over Anderson 6-4 before he dismissed seventh favourite Andreas Seppi.
In a rain interrupted match against the Italian, the 26-year-old US-American saved the only break point he faced, converting two of his own to prevail in one hour and 18 minutes. Johnson will appear in his first final of the season, aiming his first ATP career title.
“I’m very happy to reach my second final and first on grass,” Johnson said. The 26-year-old from California finished runner-up to David Ferrer in Vienna last October. “I liked the way I kept my composure and came back from the darkness delay last night and the rain delay today up a set. You never know how those are going to turn out. Fortunately, I came out with good starts in both and was able to get back into the swing of things.
“Pablo’s played an outstanding tournament so it’s hopefully going to be a great match and I’m going to be a bit more comfortable in my second final than I was in my first.”
The two top seeded pairs will square off in the doubles final. Number one team of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo will take on Dominic Inglot and Daniel Nestor.