EASTBOURNE, June 29, 2018
It was a day of mixed results for the seeds at the Nature Valley International on Thursday, tournament top seed Caroline Wozniacki, and No.4 seeds Angelique Kerber and Marco Cecchinato marching on, while No.2 seeds Karolina Pliskova and Kyle Edmund fell by the wayside at Eastbourne.
Eastbourne champion in 2009, and runner-up in 2017, Wozniacki continued her fine run of Eastbourne form to reach the semifinals with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 win over Ashleigh Barty, the champion at the Nature Valley Open at the start of the month.
“It got a little tricky,” the world No.2 said after the game. “The wind was swirling a little. I just stayed consistent and got a lot of her tricky slices back. I was able to do something with that.”
In the semifinals Wozniacki will take on No.4 seed Angelique Kerber who defeated No.7 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-7, 7-6.
Sabalenka upsets Pliskova
Unseeded Aryna Sabalenka put on a powerful display against Pliskova to dispatch the world No.7 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 and earn her place in the Nature Valley International semifinals.
“On grass it’s so difficult to play against (Pliskova) because she’s a big server,” said the Belarusian. “It was so tough on her service game, because I was just trying to put the ball in. Her serve is so big, you just put the ball and then you start to run because she’s on the ball and she’s aggressive. It’s a good start to the grass season. I’m so happy with this result.”
No.4 seed in the men’s draw at the Nature Valley International Ceccinato won through to the semifinals courtesy of a fighting 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 performance against Australia’s John Millman. He’ll take on Lukas Lacko in the penultimate round after the Slovak beat British wild card recipient Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4.
Meanwhile, unseeded Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan unseated tournament No.2 seed, Kyle Edmund 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday to earn himself a place in the semifinals at the Nature Valley International where he’ll face German Mischa Zverev, who claimed his Nature Valley International semifinal berth courtesy of a 6-3, 6-3 win over tournament No.3 seed Denis Shapovalov.
All British men’s doubles final
Nature Valley International fans will be treated to an all British men’s doubles final for the first time since 2012 when Ken and Neal Skupski take on wild card pairing Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara at Devonshire Park.
Ken Skupski will be looking to go one better in Friday’s clash having reached the doubles final at Eastbourne twice previously, in 2012 when he partnered Jamie Delgado to the runners-up trophy against compatriots Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, and in 2014 when he and Fleming were runners-up to Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski