Felix Auger-Aliassime received a walkover into a Stuttgart Open final against Matteo Berrettini, while the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships semi-finals will not conclude until Sunday.

A lower back injury led to sixth seed Milos Raonic, who was taking part in his first tournament since the Miami Open in March, withdrawing from the all-Canadian final-four match in Germany.

"I'm very sorry and apologetic that I'm unable to compete. I was hoping for the best after my match yesterday," said 2016 Wimbledon finalist Raonic.

"I woke up this morning not feeling my best. I wanted to come out here and give it a try. And after looking at it very diligently with my team, and the way I was feeling with my back, I found it was not possible for me to compete without taking any greater risk."

Berrettini faced his first two break points of the tournament but staved them off en route to a 6-4 7-5 victory over home hope Jan-Lennard Struff.

In Den Bosch, Borna Coric saved two match points but fell a mini-break behind in a third-set tie-break before his semi-final against Adrian Mannarino was interrupted by rain.

Jordan Thompson claimed an important break to move 7-5 5-3 up against Richard Gasquet but was facing a break point in game nine of the second set when play was suspended.

The players will conclude their matches on Sunday before the final is contested.

Kiki Bertens reached her first WTA Tour final on grass with a straight-sets victory over Elena Rybakina at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships on Saturday.

World number four Bertens triumphed 6-4 6-4 to reach the showpiece without dropping a set on home soil and Alison Riske is up next for the Dutchwoman. 

Bertens secured a break in Rybakina's opening service game but found herself 3-2 down at the end of game five after the Kazakh got back on serve and then held to love.

However, Bertens stepped up her game and eased to the first set, before surviving a wobble when she was broken to love in her first chance to serve out the match.

Riske reached the final courtesy of a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) victory over Veronika Kudermetova.

The American fell 3-1 behind in the third-set tie-break but won the last five points of the match to set up a meeting with Bertens.

In Nottingham, Donna Vekic reeled off 12 straight games to complete a 5-7 6-0 6-0 victory over Tatjana Maria.

Vekic appears set to face top seed Caroline Garcia in the final, with the Frenchwoman serving with a 4-6 6-3 4-3 lead over Jennifer Brady when play was suspended due to persistent rain.

Andy Murray will face the Fever-Tree Championships' top seeds on his doubles return after the former world number one and Feliciano Lopez were drawn against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

The event confirmed last week that two-time Wimbledon singles champion Murray would make his competitive comeback in the tournament having been out since January following a resurfacing operation on a longstanding hip problem.

The 32-year-old has not played since a five-set Australian Open loss to Roberto Bautista Agut and he and his Spanish partner Lopez have been handed a tough assignment against Colombian duo Cabal and Farah at Queen's.

In the singles draw, top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Kyle Edmund first up while South African Kevin Anderson, another player making his comeback having been out since March with an elbow injury, will meet Cameron Norrie.

Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Milos Raonic in an all-Canadian Stuttgart Open semi-final after saving a match point in a battling defeat of Dustin Brown.

Brown upset fellow German Alexander Zverev in the second round, but Auger-Aliassime beat the enigmatic qualifier 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-2) on Friday.

Auger-Aliassime was unable to make his main-draw debut at the French Open due to a groin injury, but has made an encouraging start to the grass-court season.

The 18-year-old broke Brown to level at 5-5 in the final set after saving a match point and won the decisive tie-break, having stormed into a 5-0 lead.

Raonic won 89 per cent of points on his first serve in a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Marton Fucsovics.

Matteo Berrettini and Jan-Lennard Struff will contest the other semi-final following straight-sets defeats of Denis Kudla and Lucas Pouille respectively. 

Defending champion Richard Gasquet reached the last four of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships with a 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 victory over Nicolas Jarry - conqueror of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round.

Frenchman Gasquet will now take on Jordan Thompson, who rallied to beat fellow Australian and third seed Alex de Minaur 4-6 6-2 6-3 in 's-Hertogenbosch.

Second seed Borna Coric saw off Cristian Garin 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to set up a showdown with Adrian Mannarino, who ended David Goffin's title hopes.

Kiki Bertens will face teenage qualifier Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals on home soil after winning twice at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships on Friday.

Bertens finished off Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3 before returning later in the day to see off Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-3 6-3 in 's-Hertogenbosch.

The top seed took just 70 minutes to account for Vikhlyantseva, winning 82 per cent of points on her powerful first serve and making the Russian pay for 30 unforced errors.

World number four Bertens retired from the French Open due to illness but could give herself the perfect tonic this weekend by making a glorious start to the grass-court season.

Kazakhstan's Rybakina defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-4, while Alison Riske and Veronika Kudermetova will contest the other semi-final after beating Ekaterina Alexandrova and Greet Minnen respectively.

Donna Vekic downed Kristina Mladenovic to reach the last four of the Nottingham Open in a contest that was played on grass and then indoors.

Vekic and doubles world number one Mladenovic had to complete their match inside on a hard court due to more rain and it was the second seed who prevailed 7-5 6-4.

The Croatian will face Tatjana Maria - a straight-sets victor over Ajla Tomljanovic - while top seed Caroline Garcia battled past Elena-Gabriela Ruse in three sets and will take on Jennifer Brady, a 7-5 6-3 winner against fourth seed Maria Sakkari.

 

Kiki Bertens was on course for the quarter-finals of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships when play was suspended and Caroline Garcia progressed in Nottingham after being forced indoors due to rain.

World number four Bertens led 7-5 4-3 in 's-Hertogenbosch on Thursday when inclement weather prevented her from finishing a second-round encounter with Arantxa Rus.

Wildcard Rus stormed into a 5-1 lead in the opening set, but fellow Dutchwoman Bertens dug herself out of a huge hole by winning six games in a row in their homeland.

Top seed Bertens, who withdrew from the French Open due to illness, broke straight back after failing to hold in the opening game of the second set and they were on serve when the rain returned.

Ekaterina Alexandrova and Elena Rybakina were 6-3 6-4 winners over Ysaline Bonaventure and Alison Van Uytvanck respectively, while Veronika Kudermetova got past Destanee Aiava in straight sets.

Top seed Garcia moved into the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open with a 6-3 6-1 thrashing of British wildcard Maia Lumsden.

Matches were moved to an indoor hardcourt facility with no play possible on the grass due to poor weather, with second seed Donna Vekic hammering Chloe Paquet 6-1 6-2.

Maria Sakkari, Kristina Mladenovic, Ajla Tomljanovic and Tatjana Maria also advanced along with Jennifer Brady and Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Dustin Brown pulled off a huge upset by beating fellow German Alexander Zverev at the Stuttgart Open and Stefanos Tsitsipas also made a losing start to the grass-court season.

Brown had not won a main-draw match on the ATP Tour since the 2017 US Open before this week, but the enigmatic showman is through to the quarter-finals in his homeland after a stunning 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 defeat of the top seed.

Zverev, playing his first match since a French Open quarter-final defeat to Novak Djokovic, paid the price for converting only one of 14 break points and double-faulted 14 times in a stunning loss.

The 170-ranked Brown showed great athleticism at the age of 34, breaking the world number five on three occasions in a typically entertaining performance on Thursday.

Qualifier Brown will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 7-5 6-4 winner in the final match of the day against Gilles Simon.

The top five seeds have all made early exits in Germany, with Karen Khachanov losing 6-4 6-2 to Matteo Berrettini and Denis Kudla beating Gael Monfils after Daniil Medvedev and Nikoloz Basilashvili crashed out on Wednesday.

Tsitsipas bowed out of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships as Nicolas Jarry defeated the top seed 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Jarry served 13 aces and broke twice to claim the scalp of the 20-year world number six in 's-Hertogenbosch.

Fernando Verdasco was another seed who was second best, Adrian Mannarino rallying from a set down to win 1-6 6-3 6-4 and advance along with David Goffin and Cristian Garin.

Kristina Mladenovic moved into the Nottingham Open second round, while former champion Donna Vekic battled through on Wednesday.

Mladenovic, coming off a French Open doubles success, was too good for qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-5 6-2 at the WTA International tournament.

The eighth seed managed to break five times in her win, setting up a last-16 meeting with Australian Astra Sharma.

Vekic, the 2017 champion, overcame Dalila Jakupovic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 in just under two hours.

After a second-set hiccup, the Croatian rushed through the third set, losing just 10 points to advance from a match moved indoors due to persistent rain in Nottingham.

On what was a good day for the seeds, Caroline Garcia thrashed Naiktha Bains 6-1 6-2, Maria Sakkari brushed past Heather Watson and Ajla Tomljanovic beat qualifier Danielle Lao.

At the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch, two-time runner-up Kirsten Flipkens upset fourth seed Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 in the second round.

There were also wins for qualifier Greet Minnen and Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Milos Raonic, still on the comeback trail from injury, made hard work of beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-1) at the Stuttgart Open.

Raonic, runner-up in 2018, has returned to action at this tournament having withdrawn from the French Open due to his failure to overcome a knee injury sustained at the Miami Open in late March.

The sixth seed hit 24 aces as both players struggled to make any great inroads against serve.

Marton Fucsovics will be the world number 18's opponent in the quarter-finals, after the Hungarian saved three match points to beat fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 7-5.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev also bowed out, with wildcard and 2017 champion Lucas Pouille claiming a 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-2 win.

Meanwhile, Borna Coric started his grass-court season in style as he came from behind to beat Taylor Fritz 4-6 6-3 6-3 at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch.

Fritz won all 12 of his first-service points in the opening set, but in the final two sets, second seed Coric converted all three break points to progress into the quarter-finals, while third seed Alex de Minaur overcame Andreas Seppi.

Petra Kvitova could face a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon after withdrawing from the Birmingham Classic with an injury.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, the world number five, pulled out of her first-round French Open match in May due to an arm problem.

Kvitova won the 2017 Birmingham tournament - her first triumph since returning to tennis after she was stabbed by an intruder in her home in December 2016 - and prevailed again in last year's final with Magdalena Rybarikova.

However, she will not be able to defend her title for a third successive season.

"Unfortunately Birmingham is too soon," Kvitova posted on her official Twitter account.

"I'm working really hard to get back as soon as possible and keeping everything crossed for Wimbledon."

"I have the best memories of Birmingham," the 29-year-old said in a video tweeted by the LTA.

"It was the first place that I won a title after I came back from my injury. I always have the best time there and I hope next year I will see you on the beautiful grass courts."

While Kvitova will not take part, world number three Karolina Pliskova, along with US open champion Naomi Osaka and French Open winner Ashleigh Barty will all play in the event, which begins on 15 June and serves as a warm-up for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.

Andy Murray hopes to make his singles return this year but the former world number one knows that may not be realistic.

The three-time grand slam winner will make his comeback next week after entering the doubles with Feliciano Lopez.at the Fever-Tree Championships next week, just under five months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

Murray also plans to play in the doubles at Wimbledon next month and wants to be back in singles action by the end of the year, provided his body holds up.

"It's baby steps just now. I'm feeling good, pretty much pain-free and enjoying training, practising, improving all the time just now." he said.

"I don't think when Wimbledon finishes that I will just step onto the singles court the following week and everything's good. I still have quite a lot of work to do before I'm at a level where I feel like I'll be able to be competitive."

The Brit added: "At this moment I've been progressing all of the time, at some stage it's probably going to plateau for a while before I'm able to kick on.

"I hope at some stage this year I would be able to get back to playing singles again. When that is, I'm not really interested in putting a time limit on because I'm quite happy just now so I don't need to play singles after Wimbledon or the US Open.

"If I can, that would be brilliant, but I don't think that’s going to be the case. I think it's going to take a bit longer."

The "extraordinary" Ashleigh Barty could have been slaying England bowlers in the Ashes next month rather than being a major contender for Wimbledon glory.

Australian Barty claimed her first grand slam singles title with a 6-1 6-3 demolition of Marketa Vondrousova in the French Open final last Saturday.

The amiable 23-year-old has soared to second in the WTA rankings following her triumph at Roland Garros and is well fancied to claim back-to-back major titles at the All England Club.

Yet Barty may have been lifting a different trophy in England if she had persisted with professional cricket rather than end an 18-month hiatus to resume her tennis career in 2016.

That is according to Andy Richards, who wasted no time in offering Barty a contract to play for Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) after being taken aback by her natural talent.

Barty's former coach Richards told Omnisport: "Without a doubt, another 12 months if she continued playing cricket she could definitely have played for Australia.

"I have no doubt that if she stayed in cricket she would have been in England in a couple of weeks' time for the Ashes.

"I believe it would have been a very natural progression for her and she would have just made it happen. You talk to other people who saw her play and they would say the same. She certainly had the skills to make it happen."

Richards recalls being stunned by Barty's ability when she first strapped on the pads for a net session, seeking a new challenge after quitting tennis due to the demands of life on tour and the expectation on her shoulders.

"For somebody who had never worn a set of pads or gloves, never had a real cricket bat, never batted in a helmet, I fed her probably 150 balls and she missed maybe two to three, probably mistimed six or eight and the rest she hit flush," he said.

"It was most extraordinary. I asked 'are you sure you haven't played before?' And she said just with her dad in the backyard. Her hand-eye ability and ability to access a ball and hit it was most extraordinary.

"Her ability to pick up things was quite spectacular. We have had people come across from other sports, but none even close to her in terms of ability to transfer skills. Going from a cross-bat sport to what is essentially a vertical-bat sport, she was incredible."

Richards added: "She bowled off-spin as well. Hadn't bowled in her life, but I showed her how to do it. She saw Jemma Barsby, who bowls with both hands, and said 'if one person can bowl with both hands, surely I can bowl with one'.

"I showed her how I wanted her to grip the ball and follow through and she just picked it up, it was extraordinary. 

"In her first three games she scored I think a duck, a duck and one - but two of those were against Australia player Jess Jonassen. After that she went out and scored a hundred in a T20 game of club cricket off 63 balls and everything just sort of clicked and she just got better and in the WBBL game she played in she got I think 39 off 27 balls.

"She loved fitting into the team and she loved that none of the girls cared about her as a tennis player, they just cared about Ash Barty as a person."

England bowlers may be relieved Barty will be gracing the lush grass at Wimbledon rather than swinging the willow in the coming weeks.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic both recorded notable wins at the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday but Denis Shapovalov failed to join his fellow Canadians in the second round.

Teenager Auger-Aliassime impressed in his first ATP Tour outing on grass, beating Ernests Gulbis 7-5 6-3 to set up a clash with Frenchman Gilles Simon, who fought back from a set down against Peter Gojowczyk.

Last year's runner-up Raonic, meanwhile, was made to work in his return from a knee injury, eventually overcoming qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in his first competitive outing since March.

However, compatriot Shapovalov was a surprise early casualty at the tournament, the eighth seed losing to German Jan-Lennard Struff for the third time in as many months.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Gael Monfils came through a tense tie-break in the final set to see off Steve Johnson. The 2010 finalist will next face American Denis Kudla.

At the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch, David Goffin and Richard Gasquet enjoyed contrasting victories.

Belgian fifth seed Goffin had few problems against Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, easing to a 6-0 6-2 triumph after just 48 minutes on court.

Eighth seed Gasquet needed two hours and 26 minutes to see off Aljaz Bedene, the Frenchman rallying from a set down to go through 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Seeds Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens both suffered early exits at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships on Tuesday.

Destanee Aiava recorded her first career victory over a top-10 player after battling back from a break down in the deciding set to stun second seed Sabalenka.

The Australian teenager claimed five of the final six games to triumph 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-4. She will next face Veronika Kudermetova, the Russian having progressed by beating Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

Sabalenka had reached the last four in the French Open doubles when teaming up with Mertens, who followed the example of her playing partner from Roland Garros by losing early in 's-Hertogenbosch.

The third seed was beaten by Ekaterina Alexandrova in a match that lasted 70 minutes. However, Kiki Bertens - the top seed for the tournament - had no such issues in her opening contest, brushing aside Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-1.

Lesia Tsurenko recorded a 6-4 6-4 victory over Kristyna Pliskova, while Alison Van Uytvanck also triumphed in straight sets against Wang Yafan.

Kirsten Flipkens was made to work a little harder, the Belgian overcoming a second-set blip to beat Aleksandra Krunic 6-3 3-6 6-1 and join compatriot Ysaline Bonaventure - a 6-2 2-6 6-0 winner over Fiona Ferro - in the next round.

After losing in the opening round of the doubles, French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova withdrew from the singles due to illness.

Meanwhile, persistent rain meant no play was possible at the Nottingham Open.

Rennae Stubbs believes Ashleigh Barty can win back-to-back grand slam titles at Wimbledon and does not expect the French Open champion to peak for at least another two years.

Barty thrashed Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 to claim her first major singles title at Roland Garros on Saturday.

The steely Australian rose to the occasion in the biggest match of her career, ruthlessly defeating the Czech teenager in a battle of two first-time major singles finalists.

Four-time grand slam doubles champion Stubbs says there is much more to come from the new world number two and thinks the 23-year-old can win Wimbledon next month.

Stubbs told Omnisport: "Ash has a very good chance at Wimbledon. She can play on every surface and always says she is strongest on grass, although it was no surprise to me she won the French Open, as I always thought she could be great on clay.

"There is no question she can win another slam. She is only going to get better and better and I think she will peak at 25, 26, maybe 27.

"She has so many shots to choose from and I think when you are an all-court player like that, you get better as you get older."

Barty took a 21-month hiatus from tennis - during which time she played professional cricket for Brisbane Heat - before returning to the circuit in 2016 and Stubbs feels she is reaping the rewards from that break.

"I think when you've been a junior Wimbledon champion aged 15 it sets you apart, but it is also is what hurt her going forward with all that expectation and pressure," Stubbs added. 

"She always had the talent, it was just mentally whether she wanted it. She made such a really substantial decision to walk away from the game - when she was doing very well - as she was not happy.

"To go away and play cricket and teach tennis to kids et cetera, it was a really good way for her to step away and realise what she had, which was an incredible ability to play tennis.

"It's amazing that someone of that age to realise she wasn't happy and wasn't going to have the success she thought she probably should being in the mental state she was, which was miserable being away from home.

"I think she knew she was destined to be this good but knew mentally she wasn't ready for it. I think that's an incredible story that she stepped away and came back."

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