Upsets Galore as Three Brits Make the Quarter-Finals
Pictured: Amarni Banks enjoyed an impressive victory over Harriet Dart to progress to the quarter-finals of the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury tournament. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
The fact that three British players are through to the quarter-finals of the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury is not a surprise given the second round draw - but it is the three Brits who have made it through that will have raised eyebrows amongt those who follow the sport.
First Amarni Banks booked her place in style with a fine win over British number three Harriet Dart.
Banks, 21, currently ranked 432 in the world, produced an excellent performance to earn a 7-6, 6-4 triumph over Dart, the fourth seed, and a regular member of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team. Banks saved four set points before taking the opener on a tiebreak and then saw the match out to advance to the last eight in the DMOS People Arena.
"I’m just really happy,” said Banks. "I’ve put a lot of work in these last couple of years, I’ve got over a lot of injuries, so, yes, I’m just super happy to have got this far.
"Last year I played here and I lost in the first round, so to see the progress I’m really happy.”
Banks added: "I had a tiebreak in the first round which I just lost, so I knew I had to make a good start in that tiebreak, which I did thankfully.
"The whole match, even in the second set I was 5-2 up, and then Harriet had a really good game to break my serve and then a really good service game where she held.
"I finished the match well - and it was tough all the way through.
"It’s definitely one of my best results. I feel like I’m playing the best that I’ve played in a while as well. Body’s feeling good, so, yes, I’m just super happy all round.”
Banks now faces a last eight clash against Switzerland’s Simona Waltert, the eighth seed, who was a 7-5, 7-6 winner in her second round match against Andre Lukosiute.
"Coming into a 100K, every match is going to be tough,” reflected Banks. "You’re playing really well ranked players, really tough players, so I’m just going to go the same, try and do my best, put my game on court and see how it goes.”
Following on from Bank's surprise win, qualifier Hannah Klugman’s wonderful week continued as the 14-year-old progressed to the last eight of the ITF World Tennis Tour event with an impressive victory in another all-British clash against sixth seed Lily Miyazaki.
Klugman became the youngest player ever to qualify for an ITF World Tennis Tour W100 tournament, taking that accolade from Coco Gauff, after earning her place in the main draw in Shrewsbury earlier this week - and her brilliant run in Shropshire goes on. Teenager Klugman delivered another outstanding performance to beat British number five Miyazaki, who recently reached the second round of the US Open, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2.
Klugman will now meet second seed Oceane Dodin after the French player hit back from losing the opening set to beat Marina Melnikova 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Dodin was champion of lower level Shrewsbury tournaments in 2014 and 2015 and is pleased to be back in the town.
Dodin, currently 115 in the world rankings, said: “It’s a very good tournament, everybody’s really nice, so I have good memories here."
It was also a successful day at The Shrewsbury Club for Fran Jones as she responded well to losing the opening set to beat Estonian Elena Malygina. Brit Jones survived three match points in the deciding set before eventually getting the better of Malygina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 in the day’s longest second round match, just over two and a half hours.
Next up for Jones tomorrow in the last eight is Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2021, after this week's top seed overcame Nigina Abduraimova 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Katie Swan’s hopes of further progress, following her fine victory over fifth seed Dalma Galfi in the first round, ended as the Brit lost 7-5, 6-2 to Suzan Lamens from the Netherlands.
Lamens will now take on Australian third seed Olivia Gadecki, who produced a fine display in securing a 6-3, 6-0 win over Barbora Palicova, a quarter-finalist in Shrewsbury last year.
Tomorrow's matches, beginning with Gadecki against Lamens in the DMOS People Arena, with all four singles quarter finals and a doubles semi-final being played on the same court throughout the day.