Rae & Smith win Aegon Trophy doubles crown as Konta and Evans exit

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith clinched the women's double crown at the Aegon Trophy on a day that British hopes of singles glory at the Nottingham Tennis Centre were dashed.

Johanna Konta was beaten by Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the semi-finals, while Dan Evans went out in the second round.

Rae became the first Nottingham player to win an Aegon Trophy crown, teaming up with Smith to beat fourth seeds Sharon Fichman and Maria Sanchez 7-6(5) 4-6 10-5.

Meanwhile, former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis progressed to the last four where he will meet top seed Igor Sijsling.

Australian third seed Marinko Matosevic, who beat Evans in the last 16, resumes his quarter final match against Dimitar Kutrovsky on Saturday after play was halted in fading light.

The contest was suspended after Matosevic claimed the first set, with the Australian on serve as Kutrovsky leads the second 4-3. The winner of that match goes on to face 2011 Aegon Trophy champion Gilles Muller.

World No. 118 Pliskova overcame Konta 7-5 7-6(2) to move into Saturday's final against fifth seed Zarina Diyas, who triumphed 6-2 7-5 against Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito.

It is the second successive year that Konta has been beaten by one of the Pliskova twins in the last four of the Aegon Trophy, with Karolina getting the better of the British No. 3 on the way to finishing runner-up last year.

Pliskova, who won the girls' singles title at junior Wimbledon in 2010, broke Konta's service game for the first time to take the first set.

They then traded breaks midway through the second, with Pliskova sealing victory in a comfortable tie-break.

Talking about repeating her sister's victory over Konta on the same court and at the same stage of the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham, Pliskova said: "It is a bit weird that I beat the same player in the semis to make the final, but hopefully I can go on and get the win tomorrow.

"There was just one game that I felt down, serving at 4-2 up in the second, but I was quite consistent.

"After that I just had to keep playing aggressive, these courts can be tough and I had to keep pushing. Thankfully my serve was great today."

Pliskova and Diyas both came through a physically demanding day weary but triumphant, with all singles title hopefuls forced to play two matches after rain affected action earlier in the tournament.

Talking after her win over Larcher De Briot, Diyas said: "It was a tough day physically, but I'm very happy.

"Michelle played really good in that second set so I really had to fight for the win."

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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