Aegon International fans can look forward to a bumper day’s tennis on Friday with three quarterfinals, two semifinals and a legends’ mixed doubles match on the schedule at Devonshire Park.
Monica Puig (PUR) was the first woman to reach the Aegon International semifinals, defeating Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-6 4-6 6-3 in a battle of wills where mental strength proved key on Thursday.
“I think I just stayed mentally tough, because we are both putting so much pressure on each other’s serves,” said world No.43 Puig, who is the first qualifier to reach the semifinal stage in Eastbourne since Jamie Hampton (USA) in 2014. “It was basically about me staying focused and doing what I had to do, which is be as aggressive as I could and just keep my head together”.
Puig will have to wait until Friday to find out whether she will face top seed Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) or Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) in the semifinals, their score poised at 6-4 3-2 after a stop-start day that saw rain interrupt play three times. That quarterfinal match will resume on Centre Court on Friday in a match scheduled to start at 11am.
In the bottom half of the draw, Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta squares off in a quarterfinal clash against 2010 champion Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) in the second match on Centre Court (not before 11.30am). Makarova won through to that quarterfinal after clinching a tough tussle against Andrea Petkovic (GER) 3-6 6-4 6-0.
Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova (CZE) beat Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2 6-4 to advance to a quarterfinal against 2013 champion Elena Vesnina (RUS) – a match scheduled on Court No.1 at 11.30am.
Friday’s semifinals will follow the three remaining singles quarterfinals, and are scheduled for Centre Court, not before 1pm.
Team Australia were crowned LTA Grand Slam Nations Challenge champions on Thursday, ahead of runners-up Team USA, with Team GB coming in third place and Team France in fourth place.
The Aegon International legends event begins on Friday with Jana Novotna, Rennae Stubbs, Pat Cash and Jeremy Bates taking part in a mixed doubles match on Court 1 in a match scheduled not before 2pm.