Sunday June 14th 2015
TEENAGER KONJUH TO FACE NICULESCU IN DELAYED AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM FINAL ON MONDAY
Teenager Ana Konjuh will face Monica Niculescu in the Aegon Open Nottingham final on Monday, after rain delays over the weekend forced the WTA event into an eighth day of main draw action.
Konjuh, 17, won two matches on Sunday to reach the decider, while Niculescu conquered top seed Agnieszka Radwanska 5-7 6-4 6-0 in their semi-final.
However there was enough time for British pair Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith to play two matches, including the final, which they eventually lost to top seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-3 3-6 11-9.
Nottingham’s Rae said: “My whole family was here. It was really nice to have them watching and they were really into it, which was good. There are loads of positives. Obviously, it is really disappointing to lose but it has been a good week for us.”
Smith, who will again team up with Rae at the Aegon Classic Birmingham this week after receiving a wildcard, continued: “I thought we played really well considering we had 25 minutes in between our semi-final and final. Our energy was good, we did what we set out to do. It just came down to a few points here and there. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”
Before Rae and Smith won their first contest, Konjuh swept aside qualifier Sachia Vickery 6-2 6-2 in under an hour and went on to dispatch fifth seed Alison Riske 6-4 6-3 despite rainfall interrupting play twice.
“After I played the match I got the chance to relax a bit because I was tired, but that’s a part of our job. You just have to go with it,” World No. 87 Konjuh said.
On reaching her first WTA final, she added: “It’s been amazing. My season didn’t start that well, I’ve been in a bad mood these last few months. Grass is my favourite surface so I’ve come here with nothing to expect and I’ll do my best in the final.”
And former World No. 2 Radwanska crashed out after making 35 unforced errors in her semi-final loss to Romanian Niculescu, who came from a set down for the third time in four matches at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
“The goal is always to win the tournament but today I couldn’t,” Radwanska said. “She was playing very good tennis and was very solid from the beginning until the end. No mistakes. It was her day."
The day concluded with a boisterous local crowd being disappointed as American duo Kops-Jones and Spears won a tightly-contested Championship tie-break in the third set to clinch the title.
“We wanted to go out there and have fun,” Spears said. “We accomplished that, our goal was to go out there to have fun and enjoy our tennis."
Kops-Jones added: “We had a rough French Open and were a little disappointed there and so starting on the grass with a win like this is exciting. We played well throughout the week, so we are happy to keep playing on grass."
Spectators have the chance to watch the inaugural Aegon Open Nottingham final at a discounted price on Monday, with gates opening at 10am and play scheduled to start at 11am.
Fans can get onto Centre Court at the Nottingham Tennis Centre for £5, children under-16 free, with seating unreserved and parking at the public car park free for the first major final of the British grass court season in the lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon.
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AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM - NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND
8-14 JUNE, 2015
RESULTS - JUNE 14, 2015
Singles - Semifinals
M. Niculescu (ROU) d  [WC] A. Radwanska (POL) 57 64 60
A. Konjuh (CRO) d  A. Riske (USA) 64 63
A. Konjuh (CRO) d [Q] S. Vickery (USA) 62 62
Doubles - Finals
 R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) 36 63 11-9
 R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d C. Chan (TPE) / Y. Xu (CHN) 61 63
J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) d  Y. Chan (TPE) / J. Zheng (CHN) 63 46 10-8
ORDER OF PLAY - MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
SINGLES FINAL - M. Niculescu (ROU) vs A. Konjuh (CRO)
The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, the women’s WTA event taking place from 6-14 June 2015, and the men’s ATP event being staged from 20-27 June 2015. Both tournaments will be an integral part of the new British grass court season, which in 2015 will see a three week window between Roland Garros and Wimbledon for the first time. The extended grass court season will enable some of the world’s elite players extra time to find their feet on grass and make the most of the best grass-courts in the country.