Eastbourne | Harris continues his run on grass

Billy Harris continues his excellent run on grass to become the fifth British male semi-finalist in the Rothesay International tournament’s history in Eastbourne, joining Greg Rusedski (six times), Tim Henman (1997), Kyle Edmund (2019) and Jack Draper (2022).

I had amazing support out there and it got me through that last set Billy Harris

The British No.5 is now one match away from going one better than his predecessors but will have to overcome Max Purcell on Friday to be the first to reach the title round.

The 29-year-old from the Isle of Man, who spent the first few years of his professional career driving to tournaments around Europe in a Transit van, fought back from losing an opening-set tie-break.

Harris, ranked 139 in the world, struck 33 winners and secured 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-2 victory over Italian Flavio Cobolli with an inch-perfect backhand return to the baseline on his third match point.

“I had amazing support out there and it got me through that last set,” the world-ranked 139 Brit said after upsetting the world number 49.

As already mentioned, Harris will face Australian qualifier Purcell – a 6-3 7-6(4) victor against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic – in the semi-finals.

In the bottom half the top seeded Taylor Fritz is also eyeing a first, namely to become the first player to win the event three times.

The two-time champion from the US, (2019, 2022) dropped just four points on serve and saved all four break points he faced to advance after one hour, 46 minutes 7-6(5) 7-6(5).

“With the wind and everything, that was a very miserable match to play, honestly,” a relieved Fritz said after his win. “I definitely feel well here. It’s tough to take too much from today. You’re never really going to feel great hitting the ball as windy as it was. But if I can serve as well as I did today, even in this wind, I’m pretty happy about that.”

The 26-year-old will face Lucky Loser Aleksander Vukic in the semi-finals after the Aussie’s 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) win against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

Taylor Fritz is on a mission

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)



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