Rae & Smith into Aegon Trophy doubles semi-finals

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith moved into the semi-finals of the Aegon Trophy women's doubles after surviving a second-set revival by Naomi Broady and Eleni Daniilidou.

On a rain-affected day at the Nottingham Tennis Centre all singles matches were abandoned with doubles action moved onto indoor hard-courts.

Rae and Smith did not let the change of surface bother them, taking the first set in convincing fashion before going 4-0 up in the second.

Broady and Daniilidou then staged a stirring fightback, taking the next three games before pushing the set to 5-5 after Rae had her second successive service game broken.

However, Daniilidou was broken straight back and Smith coolly served out the win, 6-2 7-5.

Rae, who has teamed up with Smith to win four titles already this year, is now just one match away from being the first Nottingham local to feature in a final at the Aegon Trophy.

"It was good to get through that match," said Rae.

"We played really well for most of the match, but we dipped a little bit at the end to give them a chance.

"It's good that things like that happen because it tests us as a pairing."

Smith and Rae, who won the women's doubles title at the ITF $25,000 tournament on hard-courts in Nottingham earlier this year, face second seeds Gabriela Dobrowski and Alicja Rosolska in the final four.

In the men's doubles, the top seeded pairing of Britain's Colin Fleming and Andre Sa of Brazil take on last year's Aegon Nottingham Challenge champions Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana in the quarter finals.

Second seeds Ken and Neal Skupski face fellow Brits David Rice and Sean Thornley on Thursday, with Rice starting his singles campaign against fifth seed and World No. 72 Kenny De Schepper of France.

Alongside Rice there are six Britons who will be in first-round action, with Aegon GB Davis Cup team member James Ward up against second seed Steve Johnson of the USA, and qualifier Marcus Willis meets top seed and World No. 55 Igor Sijsling.

Australia's Mathew Ebden starts his Aegon Trophy title defence against Daniel Smethurst as fellow wild card Dan Cox faces Dan Evans in an all-British affair.

Women's singles action resumes with British No. 3 Johanna Konta taking on Russian qualifier Marta Sirotkina in the second round, while wild card Naomi Broady faces fifth seed Zarina Diyas.

Teenage wild card Katy Dunne, who stunned former Wimbledon semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on the first day, is also in action against Kristyna Pliskova of Poland.

Third seed Sharon Fichman is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw, with the Canadian facing Serbia's Vesna Dolonc in the second round.

The Aegon Trophy is the first of back-to-back events making up the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, with the Aegon Challenge finishing on Sunday 15th June.

Entry to both the Aegon Trophy and Aegon Challenge is free for all spectators.

For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit  www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com.





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