65 Minutes of Intensity: The Fastest Three-Setter You'll Ever Witness

Bernard Tomic and Dudi Sela played a crazy-quick match in Newport 2018

by Jovica Ilic
65 Minutes of Intensity: The Fastest Three-Setter You'll Ever Witness

If you think it's impossible to finish a regular three-setter within 65 minutes, you should recall the forgotten match from Newport five years ago! Playing on grass allows you to control your destiny with an aggressive approach.

Bernard Tomic, the Wimbledon quarter-finalist as a teenager, knows everything about displaying your skills on the fastest surface, presenting them many times in the past. Bernard and Dudi Sela met in the first round in Newport 2018, and the Israeli earned a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 triumph in lightning-fast 65 minutes, which sounds incredible!

It was their first duel since Bangkok 2012, and they made it memorable. There were five breaks of serve, and Sela turned 40% of the return points into three return games in sets one and three, enough to prevail. Both players tried to keep the points as short as possible, reaching one deuce and wrapping up every set in under 25 minutes!

You must perform specific criteria to wrap up 24 games in 65 minutes, and Dudi and Bernard certainly did! They did not waste time between points while keeping the games and rallies short.

Bernard Tomic and Dudi Sela played incredibly fast match in Newport 2018.

For example, they need much less time to complete three sets than it took for Casper Ruud and Jaume Munar to finish a single set in Bastad on clay the same week!

As we already said, they had only one deuce, and the winner of every set had a clear advantage on serve and return. There were 124 points, and only eight reached the ninth shot, with Sela and Tomic winning four extended rallies each.

The Israeli had a clear advantage in the mid-range exchanges with five to eight strokes. He took 20 out of 32 and gained the crucial edge. Eighty-four points (67,7%) landed in the shortest range up to four strokes, including 38 service winners and nine double faults.

Dudi built a slight 44-40 lead in them, while nothing separated them in those most extended rallies. Sela lost just five points on serve in the opening set. He broke Tomic at love in game six with a volley winner at the net to open a 4-2 gap.

Dudi served for the set at 5-3 and landed a service winner to wrap up the opener in style. Tomic raised his level in set number two to get back into contention and make the duel more exciting. The Aussie sailed through his service games and broke Sela in game four after the rival's backhand error.

Dudi hit a double fault in game six to fall 5-1 behind, and Bernard closed the set with three service winners a few minutes later to set up a decider. Sela instantly recovered, serving well and keeping the pressure on Bernard, who could not endure it. Tomic got broken at love in game two when his slice found the net, struggling to create opportunities on the return.

Sela returned at 5-2 and grabbed another break with a backhand down the line winner, carrying him over the top in swift 65 minutes.

Bernard Tomic Dudi Sela