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Emma Raducanu draws first blood in fight in Nottingham with Katie Boulter | Tennis

Emma Raducanu draws first blood in fight in Nottingham with Katie Boulter |  Tennis
Emma Raducanu draws first blood in fight in Nottingham with Katie Boulter |  Tennis


Emma Raducanu and Katie Boulter resume their Nottingham Open semi-final on Sunday after poor lighting disrupted an enthralling battle for Great Britain on Saturday evening.

The pair spent most of the day waiting to take to the court after rain threw the schedule into disarray, but after finally getting going just after 6:30 p.m. they were only able to complete one set before darkness fell.

It was Raducanu who took the lead via a marathon tie-break, winning 7-6 (13) in 79 minutes to move one set away from a first final since her 2021 US Open triumph.

The 21-year-old went up against Boulter, who is the defending champion at her home tournament and is ranked in the top 30 of the world. Both saved break points halfway through the opening set and it quickly became clear that the decision would be decided via a tiebreak. However, no one could have predicted how tense the decision maker would be.

It looked bad for Raducanu, because when she was 3-1 behind, she slipped and hit her left knee, initially calling in physio. However, she stopped medical aid and went on to win the next three points. It went both ways in an enthralling ten-minute period with both players squandering set points. Raducanu finally took her sixth when she punished Boulter's second serve to finish at the net.

The referee, Jane Harvet, immediately entered the field and play was stopped due to poor lighting. This means that both the semi-finals and the final of the tournament will be decided on Sunday.

Karolina Pliskova plays a backhand against Ons Jabeur against a background of dark clouds. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA

Karolina Pliskova, the 2016 champion, and Diane Parry did not even take the field as both were in the quarter-finals earlier in the day. Pliskova defeated number one, OnsJabeur, 7-6 (8), 6-7 (3), 7-5, while Parry defeated Kimberly Birrell 6-3 7-6 (4).

Boulter was fortunate to win her quarter-final on Friday, while Raducanu received a stroke of luck on Saturday morning when her last eight opponent, Fran Jones, withdrew due to a shoulder injury. This gave Raducanu a first semi-final since September 2022.

Jones was on the court Friday afternoon ready to play Raducanu before rain forced a halt to play for the day and she woke up Saturday and opted to withdraw.

Jones said: Unfortunately I had to withdraw from a close match with Emma today. Hopefully everyone can understand that with the big events coming up, I am not in a position to take many risks, especially in my last few years.

I think it's a huge shame. I've really enjoyed playing this week and I've played at a good level, but I need to continue to think big picture which has gotten me to the place I am so far this year.

New British men's No. 1 Jack Draper is one win away from his first ATP Tour title after reaching the final of the Stuttgart Open. The 22-year-old, who will replace Cameron Norrie as the country's highest-ranked player on Monday, defeated American Brandon Nakashima in straight sets in their semi-final in Germany.

Jack Draper celebrates after beating Brandon Nakashima. Photo: Marijan Murat/AP

Draper followed up his quarter-final victory over defending champion, American Frances Tiafoe, with a 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach his third tour-level final. Whatever happens in Sunday's match against MatteoBerrettini, he will rise to a career-high ranking of 32, which is the cutoff point to earn a seeding at Wimbledon.

He was in complete control against Nakashima, forcing a break point in the opening game and never taking his foot off the gas with two service breaks in the first set.

A single break was enough to get the job done in the second set as he earned a spot in his second final of the year after also reaching a showpiece match in Adelaide.

When Berrettini first faced Draper, he told the BBC: We've never even practiced together, so I hope my coach has studied him well. He served excellently, so it will be a serving match tomorrow. Good luck to Jack, but I'll try to beat him.




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