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8 - 16 June 2019

Nature Valley Open

Nottingham Tennis Centre

Nature Valley Open – 8 - 16 June 2019

Nature Valley Open: Boulter, Konta and Ward secure quarter-final spots

  • WTA logo
  • Challenger Tour logo
  • 14/06/2018

  • Major Events

The fourth day of main draw action at the Nature Valley Open saw plenty of British success as Katie Boulter, Johanna Konta and James Ward advanced to the quarter-finals. 

British No.4 Katie Boulter was in fine form as she defeated former world No.4 Sam Stosur 7-6(6), 6-1 to reach her maiden WTA quarter-final. The 21-year-old wild card from Leicestershire saved a set point and edged the first-set tie-break, before winning five games in a row to close out the match in one hour and 18 minutes.

Following the match, Boulter said: “It’s really exciting. It’s a huge step for me. She’s a Grand Slam winner, and she's the first one of those that I’ve beaten. It was a really quick second set but I dug in really deep in the first. I thought I held my nerve really well and found a way to win.

“It’s done a world of good for me, playing in these matches, in this environment. I don’t get the opportunity that often, so I think I’ve used it really well and I’m happy where I’m at right now.”

Boulter will go on to face top seed Ashleigh Barty who defeated China’s Yingying Duan in straight sets later in the day on Centre Court. 

British No. 1 Johanna Konta is also through to the quarter-finals of WTA International tournament after she defeated Heather Watson 6-4 ,7-6(5) in an all-British clash. The 2017 Nottingham finalist dropped her serve just once and will next play Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic for a spot in the final four. 

After overcoming her Fed Cup teammate in the windy conditions, World No. 22 Konta said: “It is definitely not easy for either of us and the conditions made it that much harder as well. It’s never easy to play a compatriot, so I just tried to keep the focus on my side of the court and be competitive with myself.

“Throughout the whole match, I felt quite consistent in my approach and I carried that all the way through to the tie-break. That helped me get a few chances and I was fortunate enough to take that first one.”

It will be the first encounter between Konta and Jakupovic, with victory for the Brit potentially resulting in a rematch of last year’s final against Croatian Donna Vekic. Vekic made the final-eight after she closed out a tight second-set tie-break against Belarusian teenager Vera Lapko to seal a 6-2, 7-6(8) victory. 

Meanwhile in the ATP Challenger event, British wild card James Ward battled from a set down against Australian Marc Polmans to win 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 and join fellow Brit Dan Evans in the quarter-finals.

Ward, 31, said: “It was tough. I did not start off great and he was making it awkward. I didn’t know how he plays. It is sometimes tough to adjust and it took me a while, but I kept fighting and that is the main thing. I changed things around and I am really happy with that result.”

“Every match is a bonus for me. I’ve just got to stay healthy, keep fighting and give myself a chance,” added the Loughborough Challenger runner-up, who will go on to play fourth seed Belarusian Ilya Ivashka on Friday.

In doubles, Joe Salisbury and Denmark's Frederik Nielsen set up a semi-final encounter with top seeds Ken and Neal Skupski. They battled past Jurgen Melzer and Jonathan Elrich to capture a 6-4, 5-7, [10-4] victory. 

There was also doubles delight for Heather Watson and partner Buzarnescu as they took down Jakupovic and Priscilla Hon 7-6(2), 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. 

TAKE YOUR SEATS FOR WORLD-CLASS TENNIS

Limited tickets for the Nature Valley Open are still available, grounds passes for as little as £10 and reserved Centre Court seats from £40. Find out how to secure your tickets here and read more about other British Tennis events.

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