Nottingham Open: Emma Raducanu leads Katie Boulter in 'Battle of Britain' as play suspended

On top: Emma Raducanu will resume her match against Katie Boulter on Sunday with a one-set lead (Getty Images for LTA)
On top: Emma Raducanu will resume her match against Katie Boulter on Sunday with a one-set lead (Getty Images for LTA)

Emma Raducanu and Katie Boulter will resume their Nottingham Open semi-final on Sunday after bad light disrupted an enthralling battle of Britain on Saturday night.

The pair spent most of the day waiting to get on court after rain caused havoc with the schedule, but after finally getting started just after 6.30pm they could only manage one set before darkness set in.

It was Raducanu who edged in front via a marathon tiebreak, winning 7-6 (13) in 79 minutes, to leave her one set away from a first final since her unbelievable 2021 US Open success.

The 21-year-old went toe-to-toe with Boulter, who is the defending champion at her home tournament and in the top 30 of the world rankings.

Both saved break points in the middle of the opening set and it soon became apparent it would be decided by a tiebreak.

No one could have predicted just how tense the decider would be, though.

It looked bad for Raducanu as at 3-1 down she slipped and jarred her left knee, initially calling for the physio.

However, she stood down the medical attention and went on to win the next three points.

It swung both ways in an enthralling 10-minute period where both players wasted set points.

Raducanu eventually took her sixth as she punished Boulter's second serve to finish at the net.

Referee Jane Harvet immediately came on to court and play was suspended due to bad light.

That means both semi-finals and the final of the tournament will be decided on Sunday.

2016 champion Karolina Pliskova and Diane Parry did not even get on court as both were in quarter-final action earlier in the day.

Pliskova beat top seed Ons Jabeur 7-6 (8) 6-7 (3) 7-5 while Diane Parry overcame Kimberly Birrell 6-3 7-6 (4).

Boulter was lucky enough to have got her quarter-final win in the books on Friday while Raducanu had a stroke of fortune on Saturday morning as her last-eight opponent Fran Jones withdrew due to a shoulder injury.

The walkover gave Raducanu a first semi-final since September 2022.

Jones was on court on Friday afternoon ready to play Raducanu before rain forced play to be abandoned for the day and she woke up on Saturday and chose to withdraw.

Jones said: "Unfortunately today I've had to withdraw from what was an exciting match with Emma.

"Hopefully everyone can understand that with the big events coming up, I'm not in a position to be taking many risks especially with my last couple of years.

"I think it's a massive shame, I've really enjoyed playing this week and I've played at a good level, but I need to continue to think big picture which has got me into the place I'm in so far this year."

In the men's Challenger event, Britain's Billy Harris and Jacob Fearnley made it through to the semi-finals.

Fearnley will play Mattia Bellucci after beating third seed Juncheng Shang 7-5 7-5 while Harris was winning 6-2 2-1 against Mikhail Kukushkin when the Kazakh retired injured.