Nordic Naturals Challenger: Saturday's semifinals set

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Sam Groth, Liam Broady, Alexander Bublik and Taylor Fritz all punched their ticket to today’s semifinal round of the 30th annual Nordic Naturals Challenger presented by Santa Cruz County Bank.

All four won their quarterfinal match in a sweep on Friday at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos.

Groth, a 29-year-old from Australia, ranked No. 186 in the world, edged his countryman Akira Santillan, 7-5, 7-6. The owner of the world record for fastest serve — recorded at 163.7 miles per hour — will play Bublik in the semifinals, which begin at 11 a.m. back in Aptos.

Bublik, a 20-year-old from Kazakhstan, cruised through his quarterfinal match, beating American Dennis Novikov, 6-1, 6-4. Bublik, who is ranked No. 125 in the world, stunned the field in the last round by knocking off No. 3 seed Henri Laaksonen.

Broady, a 23-year-old from the United Kingdom, advanced to the tournament’s main draw as a qualifier but reached the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in three tries. Ranked No. 336 in the world, Broady was bounced in the round of 32 each of the last two years at Aptos.

Not this time. He beat American Raymond Sarmiento, 6-4, 6-4, to come one step closer to Sunday’s final.

Broady will play Fritz today for a spot in the championship match.

Fritz, a 19-year-old from San Diego, knocked out No. 6 seed Tennys Sandgren, 7-5, 7-6. 

Sandgren's exit means there will be no seeded players in the semifinals or championship.



[WC] T. Fritz def. [6] T. Sandgren >> 7-5, 7-6(1)

[Q] L. Broady def. R. Sarmiento >> 6-4, 6-4

A. Bublik def. [WC] D. Novikov >> 6-1, 6-4

S. Groth def. A. Santillan >> 7-5, 7-6(6)


CENTER COURT start 9:30 am


11:00 am

[3] J. Erlich/N. Skupski vs [LL] R. Bemelmans (BEL)/J. De Loore (BEL)

A. Bublik vs S. Groth

[WC] T. Fritz vs [Q] L. Broady

[1] W. Koolhof/A. Sitak vs [4] A. Bolt/J. Thompson

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