Dart Books Quarterfinal Berth At Eastbourne International

Harriet Dart (photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)


Middlesex’s Harriet Dart reached the last eight of an WTA Tour event for the second time in her career as she outlasted Marta Kostyuk from the Ukraine 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the third round of the Rothesay Eastbourne International on Wednesday.

The British No. 2 had used the momentum she gained from beating World No. 23 Jil Teichmann from Switzerland just an hour before, as she took the opening set. Kostyuk, who’d knocked out the seventh seed Barbora Krejikova of Czech Republic, fought back to force a decider. The two traded three breaks apiece, before Dart grappled back the advantage and the match. After claiming her second-best ranking scalp and beating Kostyuk in the space of three hours, Dart will re-enter the top-100 and achieve a new career-high.

“It’s definitely been a busy day, but a positive one too,” said Dart. “At this level, no one gives you anything and you have to work really hard in every match. There’s been some big results for the Brits and anything can happen on any given day. I really feel that British tennis is in such a good place. You have seen this week some of the girls have been doing so well. Obviously, the boys too, but you keep a closer eye on the girl just around me, but it shows if they can do it, we can do it. We all practice at the same venue. Practice together. We all put the hard yards in. It is just nice to see everyone being rewarded.”

Dart, who has reached the fourth round at Indian Wells, advanced to two WTA quarterfinals and beat nine top-100 opponents in 2022, is part of the LTA’s Pro-Scholarship Programme. The scheme offers the highest level of support available to players with the best chance of reaching the ATP/WTA top-100 in singles.

Leicestershire’s Katie Boulter battled hard against Petra Kvitova from Czech Republic but fell just shy of reaching back-to-back WTA quarterfinals, as the two-time Wimbledon champion won 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 after two hours and 30 minutes. The two-time Eastbourne champion had led the opening set 5-2, before Boulter emerged to take the first set. Kvitova regained control of proceedings as she handed the Brit her fifth tour-level bagel. They went toe-to-toe in the final set, until Kvitova capitalised on Boulter’s serve to reach the 12th WTA grass-court quarterfinal of her career.

“It was a tough match. I think started very well, but I just didn’t keep it going in the first set,” said Kvitova. “From then, I kept going on my serves and that was the key today. It was long one, I felt like we were playing on the clay and not the grass. It’s great that Eastbourne is back with full crowds, it is something unbelievable.”

In other action, Serena Williams from the United States and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur advanced to the doubles semi-final as they defeated Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Hao-Ching Chan from Chinese Taipei 6-2, 6-4. Williams and Jabeur’s partnership looked to be going from strength to strength as they stormed ahead in the opening set. The newly-formed duo’s chemistry was clear to see as they booked their place in the final four after 65 minutes on Centre Court.

“I think we played together much better today although I thought we played well yesterday, today was better. Ons really held me up today, she was really playing so good. I was just looking at her ‘like wow this is great’,” said Williams.

Draper, Norrie advance in the men’s draw

Brit Jack Draper reached his second-career tour-level quarterfinal after taking care of World No. 15 Diego Schwartzman from Argentina in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(3). In his debut at the Rothesay International Eastbourne, Draper had fallen a break behind in the first game but muscled his way back to take the first set. The Surrey left-hander had served for the set at 5-3, but was pulled into a tie-break by the former World No. 8. Draper, spurred on by the Devonshire Park crowd, came through and earned his second top-20 win in successive weeks. He will achieve his 13th new career-high ranking in 2022.

Earlier in the day, Cameron Norrie of Great Britain earned the first win of his grass-court season as he defeated US-American qualifier Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-2 in Centre Court’s opener. The top seed of the ATP 250 grass-court event was the more aggressive player throughout the contest, forcing 12 break points opportunities. The British No. 1 has reached his second quarterfinals at Devonshire Park and his seventh of the year.

Ryan Peniston’s encounter with Spaniard Pedro Martinez was suspended due to ongoing darkness. After two hours and 48 minutes, the Briton led 7-6(8), 3-6, 3-2.

Eastbourne International Results