By Ros Satar at the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne

  • Taylor Fritz def. Kyle Edmund [3/WC] Kyle Edmund 7-6(8) 6-3
  • Sam Querrey def. Thomas Fabbiano [Q]
  • Fritz v Querrey | Tied at 2-2
EASTBOURNE, UK – Kyle Edmund bowed out at the semi-final stage of the Nature Valley International, as we gear up for an all-American final to close out the week.

 

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Taylor Fritz def. Kyle Edmund [3/WC] Kyle Edmund 7-6(8) 6-3

Kyle Edmund in the second round of the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne 2019

Kyle Edmund in the second round of the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne 2019 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

It was an afternoon of ferocious hitting as the finals were set for the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne. In what has been a great week for Kyle Edmund, in his first semi-final since winning his maiden title in Antwerp at the end of the year.

In a highly competitive first set, there was not the sniff of a break point for either player with Edmund having set point before Taylor Fritz forced a tie-break. Neither could hold on to their serves in the early part of the tie-break before Edmund held for set points. Four would come and go for the Brit, before Fritz turned the tables taking the first set 10-8.

From that point on, Fritz pulled away with a 3-0 lead saving four break points in the one game, and from there it was one way traffic for Fritz as he reached just the second ATP tour final of his career and his first since finishing as the runner up in the 2016 Memphis final.

“It’s a good week for me. It’s the first final I have made in three years. It’s been on my mind for a long time. It’s tough, like, the second ATP event you make, you play to make the final, and then you just — you lose in the final, so now you want to win a title. You kind of expect it of yourself. So, I have been expecting it of myself for three years now.

“It’s a good week, and I’m just gonna go out and play loose and not think of it too much as a final and not put too much expectation, because then that’s going to cause me to not play my best tennis, and I’m just going to take it like any other match.”

Edmund admitted he had his chances and perhaps the lack of match wins took its toll.

He continued: “Playing three matches was good. For sure I wanted to win this week. Didn’t happen, but, yeah, it’s nice just for me to play matches. I probably haven’t played as many matches as some of the players, but it’s good to be building some momentum again.”

 

Sam Querrey def. Thomas Fabbiano [Q]

Earlier in the day Sam Querrey had to overcome a spirited defence by Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano. There was little to separate them in the first set with Querrey the first to push for a break point, but it was the following Fabbiano service game that yielded some reward for the lanky American, as he went on to wrap up the set.

It looked as though he would be the one knocking on the door with more break point chances and with Fabbiano holding on, and deflecting the points to eventually force a tie-break. The Italian came into his own though as he built up a head of steam for a 5-2 lead in the tie-break, before levelling the match.

That was quite enough from him, as Querrey resumed normal (booming) service, breaking away for a 3-0 lead and keeping him at bay, finally booking a spot in his first ATP Tour final since 2018 in New York.

 

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Fritz v Querrey | Tied at 2-2

The near neighbours in the US have practiced together a bunch of times in the past, and indeed Fritz practiced with Querrey as he made his comeback after 11 weeks off the tour, following his appearance at Houston.

We can expect to see much of the same as we saw today – probably not going to expect long rallies, some battering of the fuzzy yellow balls and the most aggressive will win. Querrey has great grass pedigree, reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2017. Experience will most likely tell here.

Prediction: Querrey in three sets.

The Nature Valley International men’s final will take place not before 3pm BST.

 

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