British trio beaten in Eastbourne quarter-finals

Emma Raducanu shrugs her shoulders
Emma Raducanu has been given a wildcard for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday [Reuters]

Britain’s Emma Raducanu, Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart were all beaten in the quarter-finals at Eastbourne.

Raducanu was defeated 6-2 6-2 by Russian sixth seed Daria Kasatkina in blustery conditions.

Boulter, attempting to win a second grass-court title this month after Nottingham, lost 6-1 7-6 (7-0) to Italian third seed Jasmine Paolini.

Dart went down 6-2 6-1 in 67 minutes to Canadian Leylah Fernandez.

It was the first time since 1978 there had been three British women in the quarter-finals at Eastbourne.

In the men's event, Britain’s Billy Harris reached his first ATP Tour semi-final with a 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over Italian Flavio Cobolli.

Raducanu's run ended by Kasatkina

Raducanu has spoken this week about her "rekindled" love for tennis after undergoing wrist and ankle surgeries in 2023.

After skipping the French Open to focus on her fitness, the 2021 US Open champion has shown glimpses of her best during the grass-court season.

She had reached the last eight by knocking out world number five Jessica Pegula for her first win over a top-10 opponent but she struggled in the blustery conditions against Kasatkina.

Raducanu was broken six times overall including twice in the first set, which Kasatkina sealed with her sixth set point.

It was more of the same in the second set as the Russian ended British interest in the women’s singles.

"The conditions were very tough and I tried to win as many points as I could," said Kasatkina, who set up a semi-final against Paolini.

Boulter and Dart defeated

World number 32 Boulter entered her quarter-final in fine form and knowing she will be seeded for the first time at Wimbledon, which begins on Monday.

But she endured persistent issues with her ball toss and a couple of double faults in the fourth game saw her serve broken before a further double fault in the wind led to another reverse as she lost the opening set 6-1.

French Open runner-up Paolini broke again in the fifth game of the second set before Boulter drew level at 4-4.

The British number one forced a tie-break but was beaten to love as her semi-final hopes were dashed.

Dart faced Fernandez, who was runner-up to Raducanu at the US Open in 2021.

Although unseeded, the Canadian is ranked 75 places higher than Dart at number 30, and made her class tell in a quickfire victory despite losing her first service game.

Fernandez will face defending champion Madison Keys in the last four after 2023 French Open finalist Karolina Muchova withdrew because of a right wrist injury.

Harris into men's semi-finals

Harris' excellent displays on grass have earned him a wildcard for Wimbledon,.

And the 29-year-old, a quarter-finalist at Queen’s last week, is now one win away from becoming the first Briton to reach the men’s singles final at Eastbourne.

The British number five from the Isle of Man, who spent the first few years of his professional career driving to tournaments around Europe in a transit van, fought back from losing an opening set tie-break.

Harris, ranked 139 in the world, struck 33 winners and secured the victory with an inch-perfect backhand return to the baseline on his third match point.

"I had amazing support out there and it got me through that last set," said the 29-year-old after upsetting the world number 49.

Harris will face Australian qualifier Max Purcell - a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victor against Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic - in the semi-finals.