Katie Boulter successfully defended her Nottingham Open title on Sunday, coming from a set down to beat Karolina Pliskova 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the final.

With both players having to play two matches in one day, Pliskova started strong, powering through the first set in just 39 minutes before the the physical toll started to kick in.

Boulter found her second wave though, fighting back to force a decider in which she broke the Czech's serve three times to seal the victory.

It was a long day for Boulter, who came out on top in an all-British semi-final earlier in the day against Emma Raducanu in three sets after their semi-final was suspended on Saturday due to bad weather.

Raducanu won the first set after 80 minutes in a tie-break, but she could not pick up where she left off on Sunday, as Boulter came from behind to win 6-7 (13-15) 6-3 6-4.

Meanwhile, Liudmila Samsonova won her first title of the season after also coming from a set down to defeat Bianca Andreescu 4-6 6-3 7-5 in the Libema Open final at 's-Hertogenbosch.

Data Debrief: Boulter powers through marathon day

Boulter and Pliskova had split their first four meetings, and all five of their matches have gone the distance to a decisive third set.

The Briton won 77 per cent of her service games (10/13), while also winning 43 per cent of her return games (6/14), double the amount of Pliskova.

Emma Raducanu has turned down the chance to compete at the 2024 Olympics for Great Britain after being offered a wildcard spot by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray was also offered a spot and will compete in what could be the final tournament of his career.

Two spots are reserved for former Grand Slam winners, but Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, has decided against going to Paris as she continues her comeback from injury.

Raducanu is ranked too low to automatically qualify after wrist and ankle surgery last year forced her away from the sport.

She also missed the French Open, played on the same courts that will stage the Olympics, earlier this year to ensure she would be fit for the grass-court swing of the season.

Iain Bates, head of GB's Olympic tennis team, said: "I have had various conversations with Emma over the last couple of weeks and a slightly longer period where it's very clear how much being part of a British team at an Olympics would mean to her.

"I think she feels this isn't going to be the right timing for her for this summer.

"She's hopefully got many Olympics ahead of her. I'm very comfortable with the decision that she's made."

Meanwhile, Murray, who won gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016, will compete in his fifth Olympic Games and has been named alongside debutants Jack Draper, Cam Norrie and Dan Evans.

Katie Boulter is also set to make her Olympic debut as the only British woman to qualify by ranking for the Games.

The ITF will announce the full entry list for Paris 2024 on July 4.

Ons Jabeur pushed Karolina Pliskova all the way in their delayed quarter-final match, but it was the Czech that came out on top.

After rain delayed the match on Friday, and start of play on Saturday, a tough battle ensued, but Pliskova reached her third semi-final of the season with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win.

Pliskova edged the first set on the tie-break before Jabeur forced a decider with an equally impressive win in the second.

Despite going toe-to-toe once more in the third, Pliskova just did enough to hold off top-seed Jabeur, getting a vital break to set up a meeting with Diane Parry.

Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu advanced to her first semi-final since 2022 after receiving a walkover from Francesca Jones, but her match against Katie Boulter was suspended due to rain after the first set, which lasted an incredible 80 minutes.

In 's-Hertogenbosch, Bianca Andreescu will play in the Libema Open final after her straight-sets 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dalma Galfi on Friday, earning a place in her first final of the season.

Data Debrief: Jabeur unable to stop the break

Jabeur had the opportunity to win seven break points during the quarter-final, but had a measly 14 per cent conversion rate (1/7). Pliskova, meanwhile, won half of hers (2/4).

The Czech also won 94 per cent of her service games (17/18), just one more than Jabeur. It was the fine margins that won out in Nottingham.

Emma Raducanu cruised into the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open with a straight-sets victory over Daria Snigur on Thursday.

After making her return from injury in the previous round, Raducanu made light work of the match, winning 6-2, 6-2 as her preparation for Wimbledon continued.

Despite a bright start from Snigur, which saw her break the Briton's serve in the opening game, she could not hold off Raducanu's challenge as she reeled off six games in a row to win the first set.

With her confidence back, Raducanu secured two breaks in the second set to ease through and will face Francesca Jones or Ashlyn Krueger in the next round.

Data Debrief: Raducanu easing back to full threat

After a slightly shaky first round against Ena Shibahara, Raducanu looked a confident figure on the court as she dispatched Snigur.

Her serve proved a highlight as she served 11 aces in the second set, and had a 70 per cent win rate on her first serve throughout the match.

Emma Raducanu felt like she was playing "two v one" as the Briton criticised umpire Ana Carvalho following her Nottingham Open first-round victory over Ena Shibahara.

The former US Open champion, who opted to miss the French Open to focus on preparing for the grass-court season, overcame the Japanese 6-1 6-4 in her first match since losing to Maria Lourdes Carla at the Madrid Open in April.

It was also Raducanu's first win on surface since the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, having missed last year's grass-court season after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery that, at one point, left her confined to a mobility scooter.

Although, the 21-year-old was left unhappy with several questionable decisions by umpire Carvalho, suggesting some of the calls were deliberately made in order to extend the contest.

It comes just 24 hours after fellow Briton Harriet Dart slammed "pretty appalling" officiating during her defeat to Katie Boulter in Nottingham, where electronic line-calling technology is not in use.

Nevertheless, Raducanu was pleased to eventually prevail and book her place in the second round.

"I feel like I was playing two v one on court, it was insane," said Raducanu. "I would have used probably at least four challenges!

"I think a lot of the time they go both ways. Today, I felt they were all against me, but it just makes me feel better that I managed to beat her and the umpire as well.

"It is difficult when there is no challenge, but it is something everyone has to deal with. You can be fortunate in some ways. Maybe it was just trying to make the match more competitive.

"It's something I had to deal with and overcome. I am very pleased with the attitude I came out with from the get-go and also having to deal with the adversity.

"I haven't played in a match for a while. Playing someone who comes through qualifying and is used to the conditions, I am very pleased to have won that match."

The world number 209 was also thrilled to get a win under her belt on home soil, and set up a last-16 clash with Ukrainian Daria Snigur, who defeated second seed Marta Kostyuk.

"An element of me forgot what it was like to play at home and have that support behind me, and it is amazing," she added. "It's a great feeling.

"I am very lucky to have great support wherever I play, but it's not quite like coming and playing in the UK. It's something that me and all the Brits cherish and look forward to every year."

Emma Raducanu made a successful return from injury at the Nottingham Open with a straight-sets victory over Ena Shibahara.

The 21-year-old opted to miss Roland Garros and focus on her grass season, with the decision paying off as she earned a 6-1, 6-4 win on Tuesday.

Raducanu cruised through the first set and looked set to race through the second as well when she took a commanding 5-1 lead.

Shibahara upped her level and got a double break as errors crept into the Briton's game to force a nervy ending to the set, but Raducanu held out to get her first win on grass since Wimbledon in 2022.

She will now face Daria Snigur in the next round.

Data Debrief: Raducanu all smiles on injury return

Raducanu has been out of action since exiting the Madrid Open in April, but she impressed in her opener in Nottingham.

Despite the nervy end to the game when Shibahara showed some fight, Raducanu was in full control, winning seven games in a row, while also converting six of her eight break points. 

Emma Raducanu insists she needs to "cherish" her health and fitness, ahead of making her return from injury at the Nottingham Open.

The former US Open champion has not played since her defeat by Maria Lourdes Carla in the opening round of the Madrid Open in April.

Raducanu opted to miss the French Open to focus on preparing for the grass-court season, which she launches against Ena Shibahara in Nottingham on Tuesday.

This time last year, the world number 209 had undergone wrist and ankle surgery that, at one point, confined her to a mobility scooter.

However, fast-forward 12 months, and Raducanu is embracing feeling "really strong", and the 21-year-old is thrilled with the strides she has made.

"Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy. I feel really strong," she said. "I've done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery.

"I'm in a really fit place. I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were.

"So, there's zero doubt or apprehension whether I'm hitting the ball or designing my schedule. It's more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations.

"I think it's very easy for me to lose sight of where I was exactly a year ago. You get so caught up in your own world that you want more and more and more.

"But, a year ago, I was on a scooter scooting around, and I didn't know - there was an element of doubt. To be healthy and to be here, I need to cherish it."

Emma Raducanu will return to action at the Nottingham Open, as she steps up her return to action ahead of Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old withdrew from the French Open after instead choosing to prepare for the grass-court season.

On Wednesday, Raducanu was confirmed as a participant in Nottingham, with the tournament starting on June 8, three weeks prior to the start of Wimbledon.

The former US Open champion has played at the event twice before, but lost to Harriet Dart in 2021 and withdrew due to injury from a match against Viktorija Golubic the following year.

Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from French Open qualifying, which starts on Monday.

Having endured an injury-hit few years since her 2021 US Open triumph, Raducanu was able to enter the year's second grand slam with a protected ranking of 103rd.

However, that was not enough to put her on the automatic entry list and she was not awarded a wildcard, making her third alternate for the women's draw.

No reason has been given for Raducanu's withdrawal from next week's qualifying tournament, and she can now only feature at Roland-Garros if three players drop out.

Raducanu was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Argentine qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open last month, subsequently saying she was "mentally and emotionally exhausted".

A host of withdrawals meant she did not have to go through qualifying for the Australian Open earlier this year, though she was beaten by China's Wang Yafan in the second round. 

Raducanu has not made it past the second round in six major appearances since her triumph at Flushing Meadows, and she missed the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open last year after undergoing wrist and ankle surgeries.

Maria Lourdes Carle made a splash at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, as the qualifier sent Emma Raducanu packing.

World number 82 Carle stepped into the void to fill in for Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew prior to the end of the qualifying rounds, to face 2021 US Open champion Raducanu.

It is just the second time Carle has reached the main draw of a WTA 1000 event, and she ensured it would be a memorable campaign after a 6-2 6-2 victory over Raducanu, who is now ranked at world number 221, though has enjoyed something of a return to form this season.

Raducanu reached the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Grand Prix last week, going down to world number one Iga Swiatek, but has recently enjoyed victories over the likes of Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia.

Data Debrief

Carle is the first player from Argentina to defeat a former women's singles grand slam Champion since Nadia Podoroska overcame Serena Williams in Rome in 2021. 

The 24-year-old is making just her sixth WTA main draw appearance, with her first WTA 1000 appearance having come in Miami in March.

Emma Raducanu says the best is yet to come as she continued her excellent form by making it through to the quarter-final of the Stuttgart Open.

The 2021 US Open champion beat Linda Noskova 6-0 7-5 in Germany to set up a mouth-watering last-eight tie with world number one Iga Swiatek on Friday.

Raducanu is making her way back after a torrid 2023 but looked excellent in winning her two ties in the Billie Jean King Cup at the weekend and then followed that up by swatting home favourite Angelique Kerber aside in Wednesday’s first round.

She stepped it up again to dispose of the world number 31 to set up a repeat of the 2022 quarter-final with Swiatek.

Despite all her troubles since winning the US Open in 2021, Raducanu never doubted the good times would return.

“I am not too surprised because I have been working really hard on the training court and I knew it was just a matter of time,” she said in her on-court interview.

“This isn’t my best I still have a long way to go. I am just really happy the rewards are starting to come on the match court.

“You know how it is when you are training day in, day out you feel like the results aren’t going your way. It is never that far away, that is something I am learning.

“Going through everything I have been through gives you a different appreciation, there is nothing like playing in front of fans and playing good tennis.”

Her progress will face its toughest test when against the Polish world number one, who is a master of the clay court, but the Briton knows she is not under any pressure.

Raducanu, whose world ranking of 303 will shoot up, added: “We played here two years ago in the quarters, I have come a long way in two years, and she has achieved a lot, I have nothing to lose, I can swing and enjoy it.

“Hopefully recover in time. I’m good.”

Emma Raducanu will be welcomed back into Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team “with open arms”, according to Katie Boulter.

The former US Open champion will play just her second tie for her country this week in France, two years after making her debut against the Czech Republic.

Injuries have prevented Raducanu being involved in the intervening ties, and she indicated at the Australian Open that she would prioritise her health this year when considering whether to play.

But, with the tie on indoor clay, the same surface as her next WTA tournament in Stuttgart next week, Raducanu will join Boulter, Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and debutant Francesca Jones in Le Portel.

Boulter, who is a brand ambassador for Lexus, told the PA news agency: “I’m very pleased. We’ve missed her. We love having her back.

“Obviously the number one thing is that she’s healthy. I’ve always said it for myself and it’s my biggest wish for her as well is that she can stay as healthy as possible. We’re going to be welcoming her with open arms for sure.”

At 302, Raducanu is the lowest-ranked member of Anne Keothavong’s team, with Boulter at 28 and Dart also in the top 100, but it would be a major surprise if she was left on the bench for the tie on Friday and Saturday.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Emma. (@emmaraducanu)

Raducanu won one of her two matches on her debut and showed promise in her first campaign on clay, traditionally the weakest surface for British players, two years ago.

 

Keothavong’s side are undoubtedly underdogs, particularly having lost to France at the same stage last year on hard courts in Coventry.

The home side are led by world number 23 Caroline Garcia, who recently defeated Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka on her way to the quarter-finals of the Miami Open, and Boulter said: “It’s a brutal match-up.

“We’ve already been in this place before and we had it at home. I think if anything it could help us, we are completely the underdogs. I think we’ve got a free swing.

“Garcia is clearly playing some very good tennis right now. But it’s another Billie Jean King Cup tie, anything can happen.

“We’ve got to keep it very realistic, it’s everyone’s first week on clay. It’s not my favourite surface but I’m very excited to get on it. I think we will come together as a team and keep trying to push each other and I’m sure we’ll play some really good tennis.”

Raducanu’s presence represents a boost for Britain compared to last year, as does the rapid rise of Boulter, who at 27 has surged into the top 30 for the first time.

The Leicestershire player lifted her second, and biggest, WTA Tour title at the San Diego Open last month and has won more matches against top-50 opponents in the first three months of 2024 than in the rest of her career combined.

“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind,” said Boulter. “In some aspects I’m surprised, in other aspects I’m not surprised at all, which shows that I’ve really put a lot of work in and I feel like I’m going in the right direction.

“I am very realistic at the same time. Not everything’s going to click every week. I think that’s where, going into the next part of the season (on clay), I’ve got a free swing, because it’s obviously something I’m not used to.

“It’s something fresh and exciting but this last month has been a massive, massive leap for me.”

The winners of the tie will qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville in November.

Emma Raducanu insists working on her game rather than winning matches is the priority this year.

The former US Open champion has won three of the seven matches she has played in 2024 following her return from triple surgery last spring on both wrists and one ankle.

Raducanu will play Spanish qualifier Rebeka Masarova on Thursday in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where she has been given a wild card.

The 21-year-old, who reached the fourth round in the Californian desert last year, has been training at home in London for the last couple of weeks, and she told the BBC: “I want to work on becoming a better tennis player.

“I think for me I’m not too concerned about this year’s tournaments. A lot of people out there would say that I need matches, but I think that for me I want to work on my game and development.

“Taking time to do that is very necessary and not just following the crowd, or playing a lot of matches, or dropping down (below the WTA Tour) to do that. I want to work on developing skills.”

Raducanu also said that she is likely to play in next month’s Billie Jean King Cup tie against France if selected by Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong.

Emma Raducanu has cast doubt on her availability for Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup tie against France in April.

The former US Open champion has made only one senior appearance for her country, in a tie against the Czech Republic in 2022, missing the finals event later that year, last April’s defeat by France and November’s victory over Sweden because of her wrist problems.

GB captain Anne Keothavong was also unimpressed by Raducanu claiming she did not know when last year’s France tie was when asked about her possible participation.

There is no doubt that a fit Raducanu would strengthen Keothavong’s options for the France rematch on April 12-13, but the 21-year-old was cautious when asked whether the competition is a priority for her.

She said: “Of course I always love representing my country but, that being said, because of the amount of niggles and the rehab process, I think whatever suits my schedule and my fitness the best is going to have to take priority, especially this year.

“For example, if there’s a change in surface straightaway, too close in succession, I think I’d have to evaluate what I do. The most sensible thing for me is staying healthy. That’s the priority for the year.

“I can’t say either way. But my intention is good, I want to play.”

The tie will be played on indoor clay, which is the same surface as the following week’s tournament in Stuttgart, owned by Raducanu’s sponsor Porsche, that she has already committed to.

The 21-year-old had more physical problems in her second-round loss at the Australian Open to Wang Yafan on Thursday, but it was an unfortunately-timed stomach bug rather than any injury worry.

Raducanu was able to finish what was a long and physical match, and leaves Australia encouraged by the early stages of her comeback following operations on both wrists and one ankle last spring.

“I’m very positive, very happy with how my body is,” she said. “I think the wrist in particular was something that I struggled with in coming back because I just had a setback for a few months, so I couldn’t play until late November again really.

“Now I feel good. Ankle feels good. I think, if I keep my work consistent, I have a good shot. This is obviously only my first trip back.

“I think that tidying up some of the areas, tidying up a bit of technique and things, also just getting used to playing matches outdoors, as well, because the conditions were very windy.

“I think she (Wang) handled it a lot better, the wind. She junk-balled me. She moon-balled me. She gave me a lot of these scrappy little shots, but it worked. I need to spend more time on tour, spend more time training, and putting good weeks together.”

Raducanu is next expected to play at the Abu Dhabi Open, beginning on February 5, where she has been given a wild card.

Cameron Norrie is the only British singles player left in the Australian Open after a five-set win over Giulio Zeppieri in the second round.

British trio Emma Raducanu, Jack Draper and Katie Boulter all lost while Kazakh third seed Elena Rybakina became the biggest casualty of the tournament so far, losing an epic deciding tie-break against Anna Blinkova.

Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek almost went the same way but recovered to beat Danielle Collins while men’s second seed Carlos Alcaraz also progressed on a day Jessica Pegula and Holger Rune were knocked out.

Picture of the dayTweet of the day

Figures from across the tennis world have been paying tribute to the Daily Mail’s hugely respected tennis correspondent Mike Dickson, who died in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Stat of the dayShots of the dayBrady blow

American Jennifer Brady has been sidelined for the majority of the three years since she reached the Australian Open final in 2021, and she has now announced that she needs more surgery.

Medvedev’s dawn raid

Men’s third seed Daniil Medvedev looked to be heading out as he went two sets down to Emil Ruusuvuori.

But the Russian showed his fighting spirit and ensured it was a very early morning as he battled back to win in five sets, winning 3-6 6-7 (1) 6-4 7-6 (1) 6-0 just before 4am local time, with sunrise two hours away.

Friends reunited

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

 

Fallen seeds

Women: Elena Rybakina (3), Jessica Pegula (5), Daria Kasatkina (14)
Men: Holger Rune (8), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (23), Jan-Lennard Struff (24), Jiri Lehecka (32)

Who’s up next?

Novak Djokovic will attempt to find his form when he takes on dangerous Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the third round on Friday.

Women’s defending champion Aryna Sabalenka faces Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko while Coco Gauff takes on fellow American Alycia Parks.

Jannik Sinner has been the most impressive of the leading men so far and he meets 26th seed Sebastian Baez.

Page 1 of 11
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.