Harriet Dart reaches successive WTA quarterfinal after victory over top 30 star
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Harriet Dart has reached successive WTA quarter-finals for the first time in her career after defeating the world No.26, Anhelina Kalinina, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
This is the second time the Brit has overcome the Ukranian in the space of two weeks after winning 6-0, 7-5 in the last 16 at this year’s Rothesay Open in Nottingham.
“I was always expecting a battle,” Dart reflected. “She was great last week, and I knew that this week she would raise her level. The courts are also a little bit quicker here, so I’ve just had to adjust a bit more.
“She was serving really well, but I knew that if I just focused on my own service game that I’d hopefully get the opportunity and I did.”
Dart is no stranger to playing on the grass, having played nine singles matches in just over two weeks.
“I’m used to it if I’m honest,” said Dart. “I play quite a lot of long matches; it’s not out of choice, but it happens.
“I love playing on grass and I love playing in front of the home crowds, so I especially enjoy these couple of weeks in the year.”
It was a high-octane opener, with Dart digging her heels in early on, saving a total of seven break points in the first three games, and needing only one chance herself to derail her opponent and take the lead. Despite Kalinina making efforts to make an immediate comeback, the Briton held her own as she clung onto her 100% record to see out the opening set.
The Ukranian turned up the heat as the match progressed, winning 86% of points on her first serve and 89% on her second in the penultimate set, needing only a solitary break to reopen the match. However, a second wind for Dart saw her storm ahead as this year’s Masters 1000 Rome finalist’s momentum dissipated.
Kalinina, who’s best ranking win of 2023 came against the world No.23 Veronika Kurdermetova, managed to get a game on the board but it wasn’t enough as Dart needed only one of three match points to seal the win in one hour and 46 minutes.
Dart is now slated to play the winner of the meeting between Caty McNally and Anastasia Potapova in her second quarter-final clash in two weeks.