Olivia Nicholls was delighted that she and doubles partner Alicia Barnett could overcome poor preparation to cement their place in the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy women’s doubles final with a win against fellow Brit Emily Appleton and Germany’s Julia Lohoff.
The duo stormed to a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Appleton and Lohoff in stunning sunshine in West London.
They will now play fourth seeds Sophie Chang of the USA and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium in the final this weekend.
And after reaching the climax of a fantastic tournament, Nicholls admitted that it was a relief after only having an hour of preparation on grass.
She said: “I am really pleased, obviously we did not have the best preparation because we literally came straight from the clay.
“I think I only spent about an hour practising on the grass before our first match.
“So, we are really pleased to get the grass-court season off to get a good start.
“It is challenging, it is obviously a very different ball bounce, you have to get much lower and all those sorts of things.
“Both of us grew up playing on the grass, it is one of our favourite surfaces, so it is easier to make the transition this way than maybe it would be to go back to the clay from the grass.”
Nicholls has never played the pairing of Chang and Wickmayer in a competitive match.
They eliminated British No.11 Eden Silva and Australia’s Olivia Gadecki on their way to the final.
Silva had a chance to cap a sensational day for British tennis by guaranteeing a home-grown winner in the women’s doubles as four Brits reached the quarterfinals of the women’s singles for the first time since 2017.
However, it was not meant to be, with Chang and Wickmayer playing superbly on Court 2 to beat their opponents 6-2 6-3.
And ahead of a mouth-watering final, Nicholls is hoping to do some homework on her opponents.
She added: “I think the other semi-final just finished and I know that we are playing the fourth seeds Chang and Wickmayer.
“I have played Chang once before, but she was a different partner, but I have never played Wickmayer.
“We might have to do a little bit of homework, but we have got time.
“She is playing great.
“We are both just really pleased to get a few matches under our belt, and we are looking forward to the final tomorrow.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website