Third seed Lorenzo Sonego reached his fourth ATP Tour final of his career on Friday at the Viking International Eastbourne as he overcame Max Purcell 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to record his 18th tour-level win of the season.
The Italian, who won the Sardegna Open (d. Djere) in Cagliari in April, hit five aces against the Australian lucky loser to continue his impressive year. Sonego will be aiming to claim his second grass-court title on Saturday against either Alex de Minaur or Soonwoo Kwon after winning the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya crown (d. Kecmanovic) in 2019.
Sonego, No. 27 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and moved a double break ahead in the sixth game when he fired a forehand winner past Purcell. The 26-year-old closed out the opener on serve against the World No. 283, who had to have treatment on a back injury at the end of the first set.
Purcell was contesting in his first ATP Tour semi-final on Friday and grew into the match in the second set. The 23-year-old improved on return and around the net to lead 4-2 before levelling the contest on serve. It was the sixth time this week that Purcell had gone to a deciding set in Eastbourne.
However, Sonego regained his control in the final set, winning 71 per cent (5/7) of points on Purcell’s second serve as he broke the Australian twice to claim victory in 98 minutes.