America’s Steve Johnson will face Pablo Cuevas in Saturday’s Aegon Open Nottingham final after racing past Italian No. 7 seed Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-4 on a rain-interrupted day that started with Johnson completing a quarter-final win over top seed Kevin Anderson.
No. 6 seed Johnson – who overcame World No. 10 Richard Gasquet on his way to the quarter – finals at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last week – had to close out two matches on Friday due to bad light suspending his clash with Anderson at 7-6(6) 5-7 3-4 on Thursday night.
World No. 38 Johnson then went on to get the better of Seppi in one hour and 18 minutes despite an hour-long rain delay prolonging his already-busy schedule at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Johnson and Cuevas are scheduled to take to Centre Court on finals day at the Aegon Open at 2pm. The day’s action – which is almost sold out – begins at 12noon with the last remaining Brit, Dom Inglot, teaming up with Daniel Nestor against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the doubles decider.
In only their second week together Inglot could help Nestor collect his 89th ATP World Tour title.
To get a shot at his first title, Johnson had a hectic Friday and said: “To come out today and finish the match from yesterday, get the win over Kevin and then come out against Andreas and have a rain delay wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. Fortunately, I came out with good starts in both and was able to get back in the swing of things.”
In his only other ATP World Tour final, Johnson lost out to Spaniard David Ferrer after being one set up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna last October.
Ahead of facing World No. 25 Cuevas, Johnson added: “I’m going to feel more comfortable. I’m definitely feeling confident, but Pablo’s played an outstanding tournament as well. 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.”
Earlier in the day, Cuevas also reached his first ATP World Tour final on grass after he came from a set down to beat Gilles Muller 3-6 7-6(3) 6-4 in two hours and two minutes.
It is the third time in the tournament that Cuevas has played a three-set match, having come from a set down against Brit Dan Evans and saving a match point against Marcos Baghdatis in previous rounds.
Cuevas, who has won five career ATP World Tour singles titles including back-to-back crowns on clay earlier this year, said: “I’m so happy to reach my first final on grass. I have played every match with more confidence and today I beat an excellent player on grass. Hopefully tomorrow I will enjoy it too.
Having won only two matches on grass before this week, the 30-year-old added: “I always play more comfortably on clay. I was born playing on clay but this is my first time playing with confidence on grass. Now, having played four matches here, the feeling is good.”
Fans coming to the Aegon Open Nottingham are encouraged to act quickly to buy tickets and avoid disappointment as only a limited number are still available. Please visit the LTA website for more information.
AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, GBR
19-25 JUNE 2016
RESULTS – JUNE 24, 2016
Men’s Singles – Semi-finals
 P. Cuevas (URU) d  G. Muller (LUX) 36 76(3) 64
 S. Johnson (USA) d  A. Seppi (ITA) 64 64
 S. Johnson (USA) d  K. Anderson (RSA) 76(6) 57 64
Men’s Doubles – Semi-finals
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) 57 63 10-6
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
DOUBLES FINAL –  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs  D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 2:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL –  S. Johnson (USA) vs  P. Cuevas (URU)
The Aegon Open Nottingham
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2017 Grass Court Tournament Calendar
Earlier this year the LTA announced exciting changes to the three week 2017 grass court tournament calendar. Nottingham will host a combined men’s and women’s tour-level tournament in the same week for the first time in 44 years. The pre-existing ATP 250 tournament will move back to Eastbourne, merging with the WTA Premier Aegon International to form a combined event (as it was from 2009-2014) featuring the following format: a 28-player main draw men’s event and 48-player main draw for the women staged across nine days. Other changes include a doubling of prize money at the Aegon Trophy Series (ATP Challenger & ITF Women’s Pro Circuit) creating the highest value circuit at this level in world tennis.
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