Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter ensured that there will be four British players in the quarter-finals of the Fuzion 100 Surbiton Trophy after they both secured victories today.
Katie Boulter overcame fifth seed Jana Fett 7-5 6-4, while Harriet Dart overcame fellow-Brit Katie Swan earlier in the day to join both Gabi Taylor and Dan Evans in tomorrow’s order of play.
Katie Boulter digs deep to come through
Today it was revealed that Katie Boulter would be receiving a wild card to the main draw of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham, and she continued her impressive recent form with a dogged display of battling tennis. Delayed by the rain, Boulter and Fett didn’t start their match until after 5pm but that didn’t prevent drama in the last singles match of the day.
After saving three break points in her opening service game, Boulter found herself struggling on serve, with the Croatian taking a commanding 5-2 lead. But the fifth seed was unable to take four set points and, as at the Australian Open against Caroline Wozniacki, Fett let a 5-2 lead slip to hand the opener to the Brit.
The second set went with serve, but at 3-3 Boulter found her chance. After missing two chances to break, Boulter was not to let a third opportunity slip and powered through to take the lead in the second set. The Briton was then able to hold serve – after saving multiple break points on her own serve – and play out the match for an impressive victory.
Boulter will now face Australian Priscilla Hon tomorrow, who received a walkover following the withdrawal of Madison Brengle.
Harriet Dart eases past Katie Swan
Earlier in the day on Centre Court, all eyes were on Harriet Dart and Katie Swan as another British player was guaranteed a quarter-final place.
The all-Brit contest was very one-sided as Dart showcased why she is a force to be reckoned with on the British grass this season. After reaching the semi-finals last year, the pressure was on the world number 203 to defend crucial ranking points and maintain her push towards the top 200. Her performance today showed just how she’s handling the pressure.
After breaking Katie Swan’s opening two service games, Dart’s solid serving shone throughout the opening set. Winning 88% of her first serve points, Dart cruised to a 6-2 lead in under 30 minutes before breaking Swan in the opening game of the second set. However, the Scot started to play with more consistency and managed to break her opponent’s serve to level the set at 4-4. Dart’s response was to immediately break her opponent before claiming the victory on her fourth match point.
Dart will now face fourth seed Yanina Wickmayer, who defeated qualifier Vicky Duval 6-4 3-6 6-1. Wickmayer will be an excellent marker to see where Dart is at currently, given that the experienced Belgian reached the second week of Wimbledon in 2011. After the Surbiton Trophy, the Brit has no ranking points to defend during the rest of the grass season, providing a fantastic opportunity to reach new career high rankings.