Raducanu copes with windy conditions to breeze into Nottingham last eight

Raducanu copes with windy conditions to breeze into Nottingham last eight

Emma Raducanu defeated Ukraine’s Daria Snigur to reach her first WTA Tour quarter-final on grass at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham. The former US Open champion produced a solid display in cool, windy conditions to triumph 6-2, 6-2, with 11 aces proving very useful.

Raducanu had complained strongly about the line calls in her first-round win over Ena Shibahara, and there were a few more disputes here, with several overrules and both players voicing their unhappiness. She struggled to find her range and timing in the first couple of games against 22-year-old Snigur, who is ranked 127th and proficient on grass having won the junior title at Wimbledon five years ago.

Raducanu, who could next meet her good friend Francesca Jones, found herself 2-0 down but recovered the break immediately and a tough hold in the next game proved an important moment. She reeled off six games in a row to clinch the first set and then broke again on a Snigur double fault in the third game of the second. She had to save two break points at 3-2, with her serve again coming to the rescue, but broke again in the next game before wrapping up victory in an hour and 19 minutes.

“It was an extremely tricky match,” said Raducanu. “I knew from before I came on I needed to be on it today because Daria is a really good player and grass-court player especially.

“I’m very, very happy with how I managed it, especially in the beginning, and came through.”

Raducanu also credited her improved serve for victory, adding: “I’m pleased for sure, serving it out the first time. I served really well throughout the whole match and it did make the match a bit easier. If I had just a second serve, it would have just been a nightmare to play her. I’ve been working on every part of my game but obviously the serve is very important. It’s just repetition and I’m pleased to see the rewards in competition.

“Especially what I’ve realised, playing the top opponents like Iga [Swiatek] or Aryna [Sabalenka], you need a first serve because they’re very comfortable holding serve. If you don’t have one yourself then it’s very difficult.”

There was a big shock in the men’s Challenger event, where Cameron Norrie was beaten 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 by the qualifier Jack Pinnington Jones. It was by far the biggest result of Pinnington Jones’s career, with the 21-year-old from Kingston-upon-Thames having followed in Norrie’s footsteps by studying at Texas Christian University in the United States. Norrie’s season is yet to really spark and the 28-year-old will lose the British No 1 position he has held since October 2021 to Jack Draper on Monday.

Jack Pinnington Jones celebrates a point against Cameron Norrie.View image in fullscreen

“I’m happy for him and he deserved the win today and hopefully he can go further,” said Norrie. “For me, it was a good couple of practice matches on the grass and I’m looking forward to getting back to London and preparing for Queen’s. I was very disappointed with the match, but I am happy that Jack is through and the TCU boys are doing well.”