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Lexus Surbiton Trophy

Surbiton Racket & Fitness Club 02 - 09 June 2024

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Lexus Surbiton Trophy 2024: Evans, Harris, Dart and Appleton claim victories on action-packed day in Surbiton

• 3 MINUTE READ

The sun made its reappearance in South West London for day four of the Lexus Surbiton Trophy, as three British tennis stars claimed wins on home soil at the ATP Challenger and W100 event.

British No.3 Dan Evans had hearts in mouths during his first round thriller against Australian Adam Walton, with the 34-year-old coming through 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(8).

Evans swapped the Roland Garros clay for the familiar grass courts, and despite only starting training on the surface on Monday, the top seed clinched a closely fought third set to light up the Surbiton stands.

“For a set and a half I felt pretty in control of the match but he played a good game to break me at the end of the second set, he felt a bit like the favourite from then on in” said Evans on playing his first match at the Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club.

“He was retrieving pretty well, when I was coming forward, he was coming back and passing pretty well so I had to really pick my times to come in. It’s good to start off with a win but I haven’t been playing so well lately, I’ve lost a few 7-6 in the thirds this year so that was nice to come through.

Despite his win, Evans admitted he’s not putting any pressure on himself, adding: “I think that’s where it gets tricky when you put expectations on it that can set yourself up to fall from those sorts of matches, you have to stay focused and play the tennis you want to play. Some days you get a win and get a bit lucky to save a few match points but then others you come away not winning.

“It’s important to enjoy winning today but there’s another match tomorrow.”

Evans will continue his quest for a first title of the summer season on grass tomorrow when he plays America’s Zachary Svajda.

Meanwhile in the women’s draw, Surrey tennis star Emily Appleton is riding a singles and doubles wave of momentum after two statement wins.

The 24-year-old powered through singles qualification and made it a hat-trick of victories on the manicured Surbiton lawns when she overcame Linda Fruhvirtova 6-4, 6-4 during her first main draw match.

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She later teamed up with British No.4 Lily Miyazaki for the doubles where they took out fellow all-British team and top seeds Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden 7-5, 6-2 to reach make the quarter-finals.

Appleton backed her abilities to continue her impressive run on the grass court, saying, “It’s really nice to be in the last 16. On grass, anything can happen with the Brits because we play so well on it and have grown up on it.

“I’m really pleased with the level we’ve brought so far and I’m just looking forward to the round of 16.

“I’m taking it match by match but I’m really happy with the three wins I’ve already accumulated and I just want to keep pushing for more so the deeper I can get the better. It means a lot and it’s always important, the first match is always the toughest and then you just try and build momentum as you go.”

Appleton will take on Australia’s Taylah Preston in the second round before teaming up once again with Miyazaki to battle against Emina Bektas and Aleksandra Krunic for a place in the final four.

Evans and Appleton are also joined by Billy Harris and Harriet Dart who also tasted victory.

Harris continued his dominant streak so far on home soil after brushing aside world No.140 Tristan Schoolkate 6-4, 7-6(4). He'll now contest a spot in the semi-finals on Thursday when he looks to take out Mikhail Kukushkin.

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2023 Rothesay Open Nottingham quarter-finalist Dart got off to a strong start – edging her compatriot 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 to set up a clash against former Lexus Surbiton Trophy champion Alison Van Uytvanck tomorrow.

The British No.2 later teamed up with Belgium’s Greet Minnen for the doubles event where they defeated all-British duo Sam Murray Sharan and Eden Silva 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

While there was plenty of success on day four in Surbiton, Wednesday’s action also marked the end of the road for five British tennis players. Paul Jubb and Sonay Kartal narrowly fell short in tight two set battles to Kukushkin and Tatjana Maria respectively, while Kyle Edmund, Fran Jones and Sarah Beth Grey suffered straight set defeats.

This article was co-written with Abi Curran at Sportsbeat.

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