Katie Boulter came close to another big upset in Eastbourne before losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets; British men’s No. 1 Cameron Norrie advanced with victory over Brandon Nakashima; Harriet Dart also won but Dan Evans lost out to Maxime Cressy
Last Updated: 23/06/22 6:28am
Katie Boulter pushed two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova all the way before losing in three sets in the last 16 of the Rothesay International Eastbourne.
The world No 127 had knocked out last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the previous round to continue her impressive summer on grass, and claimed the opener on Centre Court to move within one set of the quarter-finals.
But Kvitova showed her class during the second and held her nerve in the decider at Devonshire Park to win 5-7 6-0 7-5.
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Boulter will now turn her attention to Wimbledon, which starts on June 27.
British No 4 Boulter started slowly and a double fault in her first service game gave Kvitova an early break.
The 32-year-old looked on course to take the opening set before the Brit stormed back in fine fashion to reel off five consecutive games to clinch it 7-5.
Kvitova, a former world No. 2, upped her level in the next set and even a second brief stoppage for a medical emergency in the crowd could not halt her momentum as she served out a bagel to Boulter.
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After almost a year out of the game through injury, Serena Williams expressed her delight to be back on court at Eastbourne with her doubles partner Ons Jabeur
Admirably the home favourite regrouped but was decisively broken when she attempted to force a tie-breaker to lose in two hours and 23 minutes.
British men’s No. 1 Cameron Norrie eased past Brandon Nakashima 6-4 6-2 earlier in the day for his first win on grass this summer.
Norrie had suffered a first-round exit at Queen’s last week but produced an accomplished display against his American opponent, breaking serve three times.
A first break occurred in the sixth game of the match, with two stunning forehand winners followed by an overhead smash.
It saw Norrie, who will be seeded ninth at Wimbledon, take control of the second-round tie and two early breaks in the second set secured a routine victory clinched with yet another sumptuous forehand winner rushing into the net.
“I love coming here so glad I could enjoy it and play great,” said world No. 12 Norrie.
“It would have been nice to go deeper at Queen’s but now looking to get some more matches and time on the grass before Wimbledon here.”
There will be no all-British meeting in the quarter-finals, though, after Dan Evans was knocked out by Maxime Cressy 7-6 6-4.
Evans went a break down early in the first set but hit back to force a tie-break only to miss out and a close second went the way of the American.
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Harriet Dart become the first British woman in five years to make the last eight in Eastbourne with a three-set victory over Marta Kostyuk in the last 16.
It continued a remarkable day for the world No 103 after she had to finish her second-round match with 10th seed Jil Teichmann on Court Four but edged the decider to triumph 7-6 (7) 4-6 6-3.
Dart’s latest success over a top-25 player set up a meeting with Kostyuk and another lengthy encounter occurred but the home favourite claimed a 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory to reach the quarter-finals.
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Her reward after a treble of victories? A trip to her lucky Italian restaurant.
“I am just glad to be leaving this place before dark, so that is definitely a real positive,” the British No 2 admitted.
“Just, it sounds really silly, but I do everything pretty much the same. So, I will just be getting food from Pomodoro’s, which is a great Italian restaurant that I am sure you all know about. Having the same thing. I know it’s boring but it works.”
Quizzed on the winning formula. Dart revealed: “The spaghetti marinara. It’s good.”