Hugo Dellien and Matteo Donati are the last men standing in Vicenza


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Hugo Dellien and Matteo Donati are the last men standing in Vicenza

The only Challenger tournament of the week has been staged at Tennis Palladio 98 in Vicenza and it will be a battle between the 4th seed and a home player with a wild card for the title on Sunday. The 24-year-old Bolivian Hugo Dellien has been playing his career best tennis in 2018, advancing to his third Challenger title match of the season and the fourth overall after a 6-4 6-4 triumph over the promising Italian Gian Marco Moroni in an hour and 25 minutes. Both players had a high first serve percentage and it was Dellien who got the most from it, losing 10 points in 10 service games and never facing a break point to keep the pressure on the young opponent.

Moroni gave his best to stay in touch as long as possible but it wasn't easy to play against seven break points, getting broken once in each set to end his run in the semi-final. Hugo found his rhythm on serve right from the start and he waited for his chance on the return patiently, getting the break in game seven and closing the set with a hold at 15 at 5-4.

Nothing could separate the rivals in the first eight games of the second set before Dellien earned the crucial break to move 5-4 in front, crossing the finish line with another good hold in game 10 for the place in the final.

Matteo Donati had lost the first two Challenger finals he has played, both at home and on clay, and he will have a chance to lift the first trophy at this level following a 7-5 6-3 win over the fellow Italian Salvatore Caruso in an hour and 31 minutes. Matteo served at 70% and he delivered a solid package behind his initial shot, fending off three out of four break points and clinching three breaks from seven opportunities to book the place in the final.

Donati was untroubled on serve in the opening set and Caruso fell just before the tie break, losing serve at 5-6 to hand the set and the momentum to his rival. They traded breaks in games two and three in the second set and Matteo had to dig deep to avoid another one in game five, saving three break points to stay in front.

He did everything right in the rest of the set, serving well and breaking Caruso in eight before sealing the deal with a hold at love a few minutes later. Semi-final results:

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