Carballes Baena Digs Deep To Reach Copa Sevilla Final

Roberto Carballes Baena (photo: Brigitte Urban)

SEVILLA, September 8, 2023

Home favourite Roberto Carballes Baena headlined the semi-finals of the LX Copa Sevilla, which took place under the lights at the Real Club de Tenis Betis in an electrifying atmosphere on Friday evening. Despite a football match of the Spanish national team being held at the same time, the ATP Challenger Tour 125 clay-court event managed to create a captivating ambiance that drew spectators to the tennis courts.

In a highly entertaining match, probably the best of the week so far, defending champion Carballes Baena created a fiesta on the albero on Pista Central, as he saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set to outlast No. 5 seed Hugo Gaston from France, 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 6-1.

The 30-year-old, who was born in Tenerife but is based in Granada, situated only 250 kilometres away from Sevilla, capitalized on six of his 12 break-point chances and won 52 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in three hours and 35 minutes.

“I thank the spectators, who gave me strength when I was exhausted,” said Carballes Baena. “I am very happy. It has been one of the toughest matches of the season because Gaston is very skillful and makes you run forward and backward all the time. I’m very happy to withstand the pressure in the second set and then dominate in the third.”

Hemery ousts Royer

The World No. 63 will play Calvin Hemery for the title. The 300th-ranked Frenchman ended the run of his compatriot and qualifier Valentin Royer, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Hemery struck five aces and broke his rival’s serve three times to prevail after two hours and nine minutes.

Carballes Baena is seeking his 11th ATP Challenger Tour career title on Saturday, his first of the season after lifting the ATP Tour trophy in Marrakech, Morocco in April. Hemery is bidding for his second Challenger crown, his first since Tampere, Finland in 2017. The pair will meet for the first time.