Paolini sets up Eastbourne semi against Kasatkina as Brits flop

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Italy;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Italy</a>'s Jasmine Paolini in action against Britain's Katie Boulter at the Eastbourne International (Glyn KIRK)
Italy's Jasmine Paolini in action against Britain's Katie Boulter at the Eastbourne International (Glyn KIRK)

French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini set up a semi-final at Eastbourne against last year's beaten finalist Daria Kasatkina on Thursday on a day to forget for Britain's women's players.

Italian third seed Paolini broke British number one Katie Boulter twice as she dominated the first set but the second set was more even as the players swapped breaks.

However, Paolini, who lost to Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros earlier this month, stepped up a gear in the tie-break, winning seven straight points to seal a 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) victory.

"Today I played a really good match," Paolini, 28, said in her on-court interview.

"She's a really good player on grass. Of course she's British, so it's tough to beat her here, especially. I'm happy, I'm enjoying the grass here in Eastbourne."

Boulter, ranked 32nd in the world, came to Eastbourne in good form after retaining her Nottingham Open crown earlier this month.

Russia's Kasatkina eased through 6-2, 6-2 against Britain's former US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who celebrated her first win over a top-10 player on Wednesday, ousting second seed Jessica Pegula.

The sixth seed broke Raducanu twice in the first set to take a firm grip.

Both players struggled on serve in the second set, with a total of six breaks, but the Russian held to complete the win when Raducanu went long with a forehand.

"It's great to be back at Eastbourne and back on grass with the windy conditions and the seagulls," said Kasatkina.

"I was trying to be controlled because the conditions were very tough. You have to play and try to win as many points as you can and try to put as many balls inside the court as you can."

Canada's Leylah Fernandez advanced to her first semi-final of the season, defeating Britain's Harriet Dart 6-2, 6-1.

Fernandez will face defending champion Madison Keys in the last four after 2023 French Open finalist Karolina Muchova withdrew due to a right wrist injury.

"I'm sad to withdraw from today's match," Muchova said in a statement. "I'm sorry to fans but I have to follow my medical team's advice and rest up for Wimbledon."

In the men's competition, two-time champion and top seed Taylor Fritz came through a tight contest against Chinese teenager Shang Juncheng 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).

Britain's Billy Harris continued his fairytale grass-court season, beating Italy's Flavio Cobolli 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

Harris, who reached his first quarter-final last week at Queen's, until recently travelled to tournaments, and slept, in a converted van.

Australian qualifier Max Purcell beat Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets while Aleksandar Vukic, another Australian, came out on top in a third-set tie-break against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka.