Delays don’t come too much more ill-timed. On Thursday evening, British wild card Francesca Jones was on the brink of a hard-fought upset of Ashlyn Krueger in the second round of the Rothesay Open. She had overturned a 3-0 deficit in the third set, and was serving at 6-5, 30-30.

Then the heavens opened, not for the first time this week in Nottingham. Two points from victory, Jones found herself scurrying off court instead as the grounds staff hastened to cover the court. The rain continued into the evening, and play would not resume that day.

On Friday, Jones and Krueger had to endure another 90-minute delay from their intended starting time due to more rain. When they finally got on court, American teenager Krueger struck first, finding a sliced winner to wrong-foot Jones and reach break point.

But a handful of solid first serves later, Jones had managed to seal the win in that game anyway. In her on-court interview, the World No.249 charmed the crowd as she let all her relief out.

“That was a more excruciating wait than when Man United were 2-1 up against City,” she joked, referencing the FA Cup final of the previous month. “It definitely tested my worst attribute, which is my patience. I’ve heard a lot of jokes. Ons [Jabeur] was telling me to serve two aces. I put first serves in, so we’ll take it.”

No.1 seed Jabeur later joined Jones in the quarterfinals after racing past Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 6-1. The Tunisian repeatedly outfoxed the 19-year-old Czech qualifier, and did not let another rain delay of several hours between the sets halt her momentum.

Highlights: Jabeur d. L.Fruhvirtova

Having booked her place in her second career tour-level quarterfinal, and first on grass, Jones will next face former US Open champion Emma Raducanu for the first time in a clash of British wild cards.

“It was a good warm-up, I guess!” she said. “It’ll be a great match. Obviously no pressure on me; I’ve just got to come and enjoy it. I hope we both enjoy it. We can give the crowd a bit of a taste of what will hopefully be the future of British tennis.”

The quarterfinal between Jones and Raducanu was originally scheduled for later on Friday. However, more rain delays eventually meant that it was postponed to Saturday along with the quarterfinals between Jabeur and Karolina Pliskova, and Diane Parry against Kimberly Birrell.

Highlights: Boulter d. Frech

Defending champion and No.3 seed Katie Boulter was the only player to beat the rain and book her place in the last four, defeating No.5 seed Magdalena Frech 6-2, 6-4. Boulter will face either Raducanu or Jones in the semifinals, guaranteeing a home player in the final.

Jones finishes delayed win vs. Krueger, sets Raducanu meeting in Nottingham


Leave a Reply