Harriet DART

Dart remaining upbeat despite quarter-final defeat in Birmingham

Harriet Dart remained upbeat despite defeat in the quarter-finals of the LTA’s Rothesay Classic Birmingham, as she lost in three sets to fourth seed Anastasia Potapova. 

Dart was beaten 4-6 6-3 6-4 by the world No.21, with the Briton unable to capitalise on her one-set advantage as she sought a first-ever WTA Tour semi-final. 

The Hampstead player broke twice in a topsy-turvy opening set before Potapova struck back to take the next two and end British interest. 

But the world no.91 is taking plenty of confidence from her run to the last eight ahead of Eastbourne and Wimbledon in the coming weeks. 

She said: “I thought it was a really high-level match, I don’t think I served particularly well but managed to find a way to get ahead with the first set. I had a lot of chances but overall a positive week. 

“It is really important to win matches every week. Of course I wanted to do better today and keep going but it is important to keep building week in, week out and compete with the best players in the world. 

“This is grass, it’s a unique surface, I really enjoy these couple of weeks and I am going to try and use this momentum for the rest of the season. 

“There are always ups and downs but today I played someone who is ranked 21 in the world and lost in the third.” 

Potapova will face second seed Jelena Ostapenko, who battled past Magdalena Frech 4-6 7-5 6-2. 

The former French Open champion was fresh from her second-round victory over Venus Williams the day before, where she squeezed past the seven-time Grand Slam champion in three sets but showed no signs of fatigue to bounce back from a set behind and progress to the semi-final. 

Lin Zhu battled from a set down to book her place in the last four, beating Rebecca Marino 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the day’s opening match. 

Zhu knocked out British No.1 Katie Boulter and third seed Magda Linette to reach the last eight, and continued her good run of form in the Midlands with an impressive showing against her Canadian opponent. 

The Chinese player will face Barbora Krejcikova after the top seed powered past 18-year-old compatriot Linda Fruhvirtova 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour to reach her first grass court singles semi-final of her career. 

The former world No.2 broke early in the first set to take charge of the contest before running away with the second set. 

“It feels great,” she said. “I am trying to play every match as a really good practice as you don’t get to play that often on the grass. I am really enjoying it.” 

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website 

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