Magic Miyazaki marches on at Ilkley after dumping out ex-top 10 star Mladenovic

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Tennis - Nottingham Open - Nottingham Tennis Centre, Nottingham, Britain - June 9, 2022 Britain's Yuriko Miyazaki in action during her second round match against Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Tennis - Nottingham Open - Nottingham Tennis Centre, Nottingham, Britain - June 9, 2022 Britain's Yuriko Miyazaki in action during her second round match against Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Lily Miyazaki revelled in victory over former top ten star Kristina Mladenovic as she reached the second round of the LTA’s Ilkley Trophy in West Yorkshire, writes Oli Dickson Jefford.

The 26-year-old, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme, which is for players ranked 100-200 in singles and 31-100 in doubles, providing cost-free access to courts on all three surfaces, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme, beat the second seed 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-4.

Mladenovic is a significant scalp for the Surrey star, the Frenchwoman having reached a career high of tenth on the WTA singles rankings and also being a nine-time doubles Grand Slam champion - recently winning the French Open alongside Caroline Garcia.

And Miyazaki, who switched citizenship from Japan earlier this year having lived in Britain for 16 years, believes the victory is a sign of growing confidence on grass.

She said: “It was a really tough match. There wasn’t much in it, every set was really close. I think we were both serving really well, but I think in the end it literally came down to a few points. Either of us could have taken it, so I’m really happy that I got through.

“I think it’s the biggest win of my career. Last week in Nottingham I also had my first top 100 win [against Magdalena Frech], but Kiki, she’s a top player, she’s been top ten in the world so I’m really happy with the result today.

“Every match that I get on grass, I feel more and more comfortable on the surface and I think my level is there, so I’m really looking forward to Wimbledon.”

Having received a wildcard into the Ilkley main draw, she will now face another wildcard in the form of Sonay Kartal - who beat her in the opening round of the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy two weeks ago.

The milestone victory caps off a fruitful 24 hours for Miyazaki, who will make her Wimbledon debut in less than a fortnight having received a wildcard from the All England Club.

Miyazaki joined the likes of seven-time champion Serena Williams and fellow Brits Kartal, Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage on the singles list, while she and Sarah Beth Grey received a doubles wildcard.

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

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