Emma Raducanu leads British charge with stunning victory over Jessica Pegula at Eastbourne

 (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)
(Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Emma Raducanu proved her grass-court might with a rousing win that sent her through to the quarter-finals of the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne.

The 21-year-old was a double break down and lost the first set against World No. 5 Jessica Pegula, but the former British No. 1 determinedly fought back to take the second with a tie-break, saving a match point in the process.

Into the crucial third, Raducanu fashioned a strong showing to break Pegula in as many games, utilising the court in style.

And the Bromley ace charged home from there, recording a 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 victory for her first-ever win over a top 10 opponent.

She said: “I’m pretty drained right now but I want to thank everyone for getting me through some really difficult moments in that match.

“It’s incredibly difficult when you’re playing someone who is so on form, Jessica came off the back of a great run in Berlin, no doubt she is feeling confident on the grass.

“I’m really pleased with how I managed to navigate some tough situations, this match is one of the more meaningful ones to me.”

Emma Raducanu fought from a set down to beat Jessica Pegula (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)
Emma Raducanu fought from a set down to beat Jessica Pegula (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Raducanu faces another tough test against sixth seed Daria Kasatkina in the last eight but the wildcard will be full of confidence after a stirring second-round success.

Since the tournament’s inception 50 years ago in 1974, it is only the second time three or more British players have made the quarter-finals on the south coast when Anne Hobbs, Virginia Wade and Michelle Tyler all made it to the last eight in 1978.

Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart joined Raducanu in women’s singles as Billy Harris also secured his last-eight spot in the men’s singles.

Harris put on a solid display to continue his whirlwind summer and make it back-to-back quarter-finals on the ATP Tour after a dream quarter-finals run at the LTA’s cinch Championships last week.

The Manx tennis marvel’s rapid rise extended in Eastbourne - just his third ATP Tour event - as he came from a set down to win 3-6 6-2 6-2 against compatriot and lucky loser Charles Broom.

In the last eight, Harris will face Flavio Cobolli, who downed Giles Hussey following the biggest win of the Brit’s career in the first round.

British No.1 Boulter hit hard to a win against former Eastbourne champion Elena Ostapenko. Leicester’s golden girl broke the world No. 13 early before earning a hard-fought first set.

At the start of the second, the pair exchanged breaks and Ostapenko came back but Boulter held her nerve to win 6-4 7-5.

Katie Boulter defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets (Action Images via Reuters)
Katie Boulter defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets (Action Images via Reuters)

Boulter said: “That feels awesome, I’ve always come to this tournament and absolutely loved playing here, the more wins that I can get the better, especially with Wimbledon coming around the corner.”

Boulter will face third seed Jasmine Paolini in the last eight in a bid to book her semi-final spot after the Italian knocked out Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

British No. 2 and wild card Dart was set up for a tie with World No. 4 Elena Rybakina before the 2022 Wimbledon champion withdrew earlier in the week.

Against 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Dart went a set up before falling on the wrong side of a tie-break.

She came back in the decider to motor through to quarter-finals by taking the third, winning 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-0.

Top men’s singles seed Taylor Fritz took to the courts on the south coast for the first time, defeating Thiago Seyboth Wild in straight sets, 7-6(4) 6-3.

In men’s doubles, Liverpool’s Neal Skupski and Michael Venus, on a stunning run after capturing the Queen’s doubles title, made it to the final four with a straight sets win over Mariano Navone and Sebastian Baez.

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website