Harriet Dart hits target in Nottingham to reach first WTA quarter-final

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Harriet Dart is through to the first WTA quarter-final of her career (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)
Harriet Dart is through to the first WTA quarter-final of her career (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Britain’s Harriet Dart saved three match points to reach her first WTA quarter-final with a dramatic tie-break victory over Italian third seed Camila Giorgi at the Rothesay Open.

On another rain-affected day in Nottingham, Dart returned to court tied at one set all with the world number 26 having clawed level before play was suspended on Wednesday.

With a tense decider remaining on serve, the 25-year-old was on the brink of exiting the competition at 40-0 down in the 10th game but she dug in to eventually progress 5-7 6-4 7-6 (3) and claim a personal milestone.

Her reward for a gruelling victory, which took two hours and 34 minutes over the two days, is a last-eight meeting with sixth-seeded American Alison Riske, who overcame 2019 champion Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-5.

“I can’t quite believe it, saving those three match points,” Dart told the LTA.

“I really have to thank the crowd because they got me through that. This is my first quarter-final, so for it to be at a home tournament is special.”

Further British interest in the women’s draw was ended following exits for Katie Boulter and Lily Miyazaki.

Boulter lost 6-3 6-4 to Australian fifth seed Ajla Tomljanovic on Thursday evening, while earlier Miyazaki was defeated 6-2 7-6 (4) by Brazilian seventh-seed Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Meanwhile, top seed Maria Sakkari kept herself on course for the title after she came from a set down to beat Canadian Rebecca Marino 1-6 6-3 6-3.

In the men’s draw, British number five Liam Broady progressed to the last eight but there was disappointment for compatriot Jay Clarke.

Broady, ranked 144th in the world, recovered from losing the opening set to beat Finland’s Otto Virtanen 2-6 7-5 6-2 and will next play Jack Sock, who defeated Frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-0 4-6 6-2. Clarke lost 6-4 6-4 to Australian third seed Jordan Thompson.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

“This win is really big for me as it’s my first quarter-final at one of these Challengers,” said Broady, who joins compatriots Dan Evans and Ryan Peniston in the last eight.

“After the first set I was just happy to take it to a third. I played really well in that third set and managed to put it to bed with a double break.

“The British fans are brilliant, they always drive you on and really understand tennis.”

On a day when play was suspended for around three and a half hours due to inclement weather, there was also victory for Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, who knocked out 2008 runner-up Fernando Verdasco with a 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-4 win.

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