Rothesay Open Nottingham 2023: Four Brits make WTA quarter-finals for first time in history
• 3 MINUTE READ
For the first time in WTA history, there will be four British players competing in the quarter-finals of the same tour event at the Rothesay Open Nottingham.
Katie Boulter, Jodie Burrage, Harriet Dart and Heather Watson will all continue their quest for the title having come through straight sets victories in the second round and knocking out tournament favourites along the way.
For Boulter, this will be her third appearance in a Nottingham quarter-final, whereas Burrage, Dart and Watson will be making their debuts in the final eight. For Burrage, this is the first time she’s made a WTA quarter-final as well.
With Andy Murray and George Loffhagen making it through to the quarter-finals of the men’s singles draw – this is the first time in it’s current format (WTA 250 and ATP Challenger) that the Rothesay Open Nottingham will have six quarter-finalists.
British No.1 Boulter started the day with a strong win against Ukraine’s Daria Snigur. The 26-year-old Brit came from a break down in both sets to beat Snigur 7-5, 6-3 in just over two hours.
“That was an absolute battle,” Boulter said. “I knew coming into it that it was going to be really tough match. I just tried to put my heart on the line and fight as much as I could and it paid off today, so I'm really proud of myself.
“Whenever I see that court it’s a special feeling for me because I know I’ve had some great results on it. Going back out there again today those results and matches came back to me and it really pushed me on in the tough moments.”
In the next round she’ll face fellow Brit Dart – with the victor set to become the second British player to make the semi-finals in Nottingham after 2021 champion, Johanna Konta. Boulter and Dart are good friends having played together many times at the Billie Jean King Cup, but are both very much focused on the task at hand.
“I don’t think it matters too much who you’re playing,” Boulter said. “You have to play the ball and what’s coming at you. I don’t think it will be an easy match and I’m looking forward to it.
“There’s nothing better than playing a quarter-final in front of your home crowd. It’s a free swing for me, I have nothing to lose and I’m just going to enjoy myself.”
Dart and Burrage both had to beat two of the top seeds to make it into the quarter-finals. Dart came out second on Centre Court and put in one of the performances of the season to beat fifth seed and Italian Open finalist Anhelina Kalinina 6-0, 7-5.
“I knew this was going to be a really tough match and I had to come out firing, I did that,” Dart said in her post-match interview. “After the first set, I knew it was going to be a battle. She is a fighter and she's had some amazing results, so I always knew it was going to be tough. I'm just really pleased to come through in two sets.
"We are good friends (Dart and Boulter). Let the better player win tomorrow. We have amazing strength in depth across women's tennis.”
The biggest upset of the day was saved for last on Centre as Burrage blasted past third seed and world No.21 Magda Linette 7-5, 6-3.
Facing a battle with Magdalena Frech in her first WTA quarter-final, Burrage says she feeling better and better on the grass each time she plays.
"I felt so much more confident today, I trusted myself a lot more,” said the British No.3. “I was on a different level – still not my best, there is room for more improvement, but I'm getting better and better match by match.
On four British women on the quarter-finals for the first time ever in a WTA Tour event, she said, “It shows how much we love the grass. It's amazing to have four British women in the quarter-finals. Hopefully more of us can get to the semis now.”
They’ll be joined by Watson, who defeated 2022 Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-4 yesterday. Having qualified this year, Watson will play Viktorija Golubic in her fifth match at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
On the men's side, Murray extended his unbeaten run on grass to seven matches with a solid 6-3, 7-5 win over Hugo Grenier.
Gunning for a thid Challenger title in just two months, Murray moves on to face ATP Next Gen Finalist and rising star Dominic Stricker.
Wild card Loffhagen has been one of the stories of the tournament so far, picking up his first Challenger-level wins to reach the quarter-finals.
The world No.414 will face fifth seed Dominik Koepfer in what's shaping up to be an exciting Friday line-up.