With the Nottingham Open, one of the more popular pre-Wimbledon WTA events, shocks always take place. This event is often seen as a great warm-up act ahead of the Grand Slam taking place this summer at Wimbledon. That being said, some shocks live longer in the memory than others. This year, we have seen one that should be spoken about for decades to come. Harriet Dart, an upcoming young star, beat established winner Camila Giorgi to reach her first-ever quarter final berth on a WTA event.
It was a major win for the youngster, and provided the 25-year-old, ranked 114th in the work, with the chance to play Alison Riske in the last eight. A stunning match seen her overcome three match points to then beat Giorgi, the third seed, and take a crucial next step in her growing tennis career.
Dart was Able to produce some awesome performances to overcome the Italian, ranked 26th, in a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) victory. It is one that will live long in the memory, as Dart noted that she “can’t quite believe it” – and no wonder. It is not often that a player can survive a trio of match points; to then come back, rally, and win the entire match is simply incredible.
She had slipped to 0-40 down on her serve and Giorgi was up 5-4, but Dart managed to break through and find her resilience. She ended up dominating the tie break with comfort, likely due to the momentum swing brought on by her stunning defensive performance.
It was a moment to remember for her, and a first quarter final is surely going to be special. Something to savour, too, for the local population who missed out on seeing national darling Emma Raducanu do anything of note. The Grand Slam winner pulled out with yet another injury, with her participation at Wimbledon now in doubt.
Dart the darling of the Nottingham crowd
To be able to get through to a last eight of a WTA event is a huge achievement for any young player. For Dart to do so with such limited previous success, though, is simply stunning. The path has now opened up for a potential win, though to do so she must overcome six seed Riske in a tough match-up. After overcoming an elite player in Giorgi, though, confidence will surely be flying for the 25-year-old.
Dart is the only remaining Briton at the tournament. Katie Boulder wasa defeated 6-3, 6-4 by Alja Tomljanovic in a tough match-up on Thursday evening. At the same time, Canadian star Rebecca Marino was put out by Maria Sakkari in a tough 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 match-up.
The other Briton remaining in the tournament is on the ATP side, where Liam Broady fought back to defeat Otto Virtanen 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 to also reach the last eight. Who knows? We could perhaps see dual British winners at one of the more prestigious non-Grand Slam events held in the UK.