NOTTINGHAM, June 16, 2019 (Press Release)
British No. 3 Dan Evans has reached his second consecutive ATP Challenger final on home soil after beating Japan’s Go Soeda 6-4 6-2 at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham – an LTA summer grass court event – where French former World No. 4 Caroline Garcia also closed out her WTA International semi-final on Sunday morning.
World No. 70 Evans, who narrowly lost out to Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the 2018 East Midlands final, took one hour and 11 minutes in front of a packed crowd on Court 1 to secure his ninth singles victory in a row, following his title-winning run at the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy last week.
The Birmingham-born 29-year-old will face Russian World No. 148 Evgeny Donskoy on Centre Court in what will be their first clash with each other on grass, following the conclusion of the women’s singles final between top seed Garcia and second seed Donna Vekic, who won her semi-final on Saturday.
Garcia, 25, only needed two games against American Jennifer Brady to win their match that carried over from a rain-disrupted Saturday 4-6 6-3 6-3 and reach the women’s singles final, which is scheduled to start not before 3pm.
The 25-year-old, who – like Vekic – will play in her second WTA final of the season, said: “”It was very difficult. I knew I had to start the match very strong, because it was only a couple of points. I wanted really to be very focused and aggressive on my first service game, because I knew it would be important to be at 5-3.
“I’m very happy and proud with how I fought today. I got ready for today’s match, and I wanted it very badly.”
With each finalist going for their first title of the year, Garcia is looking forward to the challenge presented by 2017 Nottingham champion Donna Vekic, whom she has never played on grass before.
“It’s going to be a good final, a strong match,” she added. “Donna’s had a great season so far. She had a lot of success on the grass court actually, so I’m really looking forward to this final and it’s the best I can ask for – a final against the second seed in the tournament. I just want to get myself ready and enjoy it.”
Play continues on Finals Day Sunday with all four singles and doubles finals due to be completed.