WTA

Harriet Dart’s Birmingham run ends at quarter-final stage

By Sports Desk June 23, 2023

Harriet Dart’s run at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham ended in the quarter-finals with defeat by Anastasia Potapova.

Dart defeated top-30 player Anhelina Kalinina for the second week in a row to reach the last eight but was unable to capitalise on a good start against fourth seed Potapova, losing out 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Dart struggled with her serve throughout the match but managed to win the opening set despite five double faults, producing some fine shots from the back of the court.

The 26-year-old was bidding to reach a first WTA semi-final having lost three previous quarter-finals, all on the British grass, and she made the first move in the second set with a break for 2-1.

But Potapova, ranked 21st, began to punish Dart’s second serve and the Russian turned the match around with a run of four games in a row, cutting down on the errors that had blighted her game.

Dart recovered from 3-1 down in the deciding set to level at 3-3 but Potapova’s heavy groundstrokes were taking their toll and the Russian broke again before serving out the victory.

It has nevertheless been a strong tournament for Dart to back up last week’s run to the last eight in Nottingham, and she will have another chance to pick up more wins ahead of Wimbledon having been awarded a wild card for next week’s tournament in Eastbourne.

Potapova next faces second seed Jelena Ostapenko, who mounted an impressive comeback from a set and 4-0 down to defeat Magdalena Frech 4-6 7-5 6-2.

The Latvian played until after 8pm on Thursday night in her victory over Venus Williams and was back on court on Friday lunchtime to take on Pole Frech.

Ostapenko needed treatment for a left calf problem and at one stage looked like she might not finish the match but she managed to turn things around in the second set before taking the decider.

“It was very little time to recover from yesterday because we finished very late,” she said.

“I was struggling as well with my left calf. I was thinking at some point maybe I should not continue but there is a fighter inside of me so I want to play until I cannot walk or something.

“After winning the second set I felt like I was playing better and my footwork was there. I’m really glad to manage to win this match.”

Top seed Barbora Krejcikova is through to the last four for the first time at a grass-court event having beaten teenage compatriot Linda Fruhvirtova 6-3 6-2, and the Czech will take on China’s Zhu Lin, who was a 4-6 6-3 6-2 winner over Rebecca Marino.

Related items

  • Boris Becker ‘working hard with the authorities’ to return to Wimbledon in 2025 Boris Becker ‘working hard with the authorities’ to return to Wimbledon in 2025

    Boris Becker says he is “working hard with the authorities” to return to the UK and Wimbledon in 2025.

    The three-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion was deported from the UK in December 2022 after serving eight months of a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for hiding £2.5m of assets and loans in a bankruptcy fraud case.

    Becker cannot return to the UK until October 2024 at the earliest following his deportation, but the 56-year-old German plans to return to the tournament he says is “in my DNA” as soon as possible.

    “Wimbledon has been my favourite tournament as a player, coach and commentator,” Becker said at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid.

    “It’s unique, you can’t compare it.

    “I lived in Wimbledon a long time so I’m working hard with the authorities to have all the applications ready to be back for next year. We’re working on 2025.

    “It’s a part of my life. It’s in my DNA, you can’t deny that.”

    Asked if he would be back in the Wimbledon commentary box, Becker replied: “I hope so.”

    Becker has not been involved in tennis since stepping down as Holger Rune’s head coach at the start of February.

    The pair spent less than four months together, but in that time the 20-year-old qualified for the ATP finals in Italy.

    ::The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards take place on Monday evening in Madrid. To find out more, and follow the ceremony, visit www.laureus.com

  • Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza announces retirement Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza announces retirement

    Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has announced her retirement from tennis.

    The 30-year-old Spaniard won the French Open in 2016 before lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court the following summer but she had not played a competitive match since January 2023.

    At a press conference where she was announced as a Laureus Ambassador, Muguruza said: “If 25 years ago, when I started hitting my first tennis balls, someone had told me that I would become a professional tennis player, that I would fulfil my dream of winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon, that I would become number one in the world and win the WTA Finals, I would have thought this person was crazy.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Women’s Tennis Association (@wta)

    “Tennis has given me a lot in this first part of my life. It has been a fantastic journey in which I have experienced unique situations. I have travelled all over the world and experienced many different cultures.

    “I am tremendously grateful to all the people who have helped and accompanied me throughout this chapter, because without them I would not have been able to get here.

    “I have grown and matured in a very different way than what can be considered normal, and now I am ready to start a new chapter in my life, which will surely be linked in some way to tennis and sports.

    “I hope that my collaboration with Laureus Sport for Good is the beginning of many more projects in which I can dedicate myself and help young people through sport.”

    Muguruza turned professional in 2012 and reached her first grand slam final three years later at Wimbledon, where she was beaten by Serena Williams.

    But the big-hitting Spaniard took revenge in 2016 when she stunned Williams in the final at Roland Garros, and a year later she beat Venus Williams to add the Wimbledon trophy to her collection.

    She climbed to the top of the rankings in September 2017, where she stayed for four weeks, but consistency was not Muguruza’s strong point and she slipped down the standings before a resurgence in 2020.

    Muguruza reached her fourth grand slam final at the Australian Open, losing to American Sofia Kenin, and she returned to the world’s top three at the end of 2021 after winning the WTA Finals for the first time.

    But the next season saw her plummet back down the rankings and her retirement comes as no surprise given her long hiatus from the sport.

  • Emma Raducanu’s run at Stuttgart Open ended by world number one Iga Swiatek Emma Raducanu’s run at Stuttgart Open ended by world number one Iga Swiatek

    Emma Raducanu’s progress in the Stuttgart Open was halted in straight sets by world number one Iga Swiatek.

    The Polish four-time grand slam champion, in her 100th week on top of the ATP world rankings, prevailed 7-6 (2) 6-3 to set up a semi-final showdown with Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

    It was, however, an encouraging quarter-final performance from Raducanu, who has slipped to 303 in the world rankings after a torrid 2023.

    Raducanu came in to the contest on a high after winning four matches in a row for the first time since her US Open title in 2021 and raised confidence levels were reflected in the opening exchanges.

    Several booming returns from the 21-year-old Briton turned a 0-40 deficit into an immediate break of serve, but Swiatek levelled after edging a second game that featured seven deuces.

    That see-saw battle set the tone for a marathon 70-minute opening set which produced plenty of high-quality ground strokes from both sides of the net.

    The match went with serve from that point, with Raducanu superbly holding her nerve at 5-4 and 6-5 down to force the first set to a tie-break.

    Swiatek completely dominated the tie-break though, winning the first four points before closing it out 7-2.

    Raducanu was quickly in trouble again in the second set, falling 2-0 behind and covered in clay after losing her footing on the baseline.

    She continued to fight and fended off break points in her next two service games to stay in the match.

    But Swiatek kept up the pressure to finally end Raducanu’s resistance to move in to the last four.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.