Britain’s Lucy Shuker and the Netherlands Diede De Groot stormed to a straight set victory in their women’s doubles semi-final.
Hopefully if we play like today and we move well and Diede’s striking like she can do and I can get the opportunity to get into the net I think we have a good chance to win. Lucy Shuker
Their 6-2 6-2 win over fellow Brit Louise Hunt and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane sees them march on to the final where only the partnership of Marjolein Buis and Sabine Ellerbrock stand in the way of them lifting the women’s doubles title for the second year running.
Shuker said lightheartedly: “I really enjoyed it today especially after yesterdays quite angry Lucy on court in the singles.”
She continued: “I really enjoy playing with Diede.
“And in the final tomorrow I think we can expect lots of balls will come back.
“They both move very well and Sabine’s quite handy with her hands and her drop shots.
“But hopefully if we play like today and we move well and Diede’s striking like she can do and I can get the opportunity to get into the net I think we have a good chance to win but you know every match is a match and tennis is a game at the end of the day isn’t it.”
Buis and Ellerbrock also took their semi-final against Dana Mathewson and Charlotte Famin in straight sets 6-2 6-1.
But the final score doesn’t quite paint the whole picture – there were a number of long rallies – many went into double figures when it came to number of shots in them – but in the end it was the second seeds who came through to set up a semi-final showdown with the defending champions.
What makes Shuker and De Groot work so well together?
They and their games compliment each other – simple as that.
De Groot has a game that piles the pressure on her opponents through a mix of short rallies and more or less perfect strikes on the ball.
Lucy adapts her game skilfully to suit whoever she is playing doubles with, although when she teams up with players like De Groot, who give her the space to come into the net and showcase some of her stunning volleys and net play, then she is more or less unstoppable.
And most importantly both of them communicate well with each other.
No wonder they are a formidable force when they combine on a doubles court.
About her partnership with De Groot, Shuker said: “To play with Diede is great. She’s a great mover, she strikes the ball so well and so heavy and just allows me to do my things at the net.
“She just gives me confidence when we’re playing together.
“I feel that we move really well together – she has the ability to hit pretty big from the start and I set her up to finish balls.
“But also it was quite nice to see that she actually came to the net today so she’s actually building her confidence there as well.
“As a partnership I really enjoy playing with her.”