Britain’s Katie Boulter continued her impressive run at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham into the quarter-finals after a straight-sets victory against Caroline Garcia, but Harriet Dart’s progress was stopped by 2nd seed Simona Help.
In the first set, it was tough for both of us. I was just trying to take care of my service games. I played a really good tiebreak and that is what it comes down to. I had to keep fighting and that is what I thought I did really well today. Katie Boulter
Just 24 hours after pulling off the best win by way of ranking in her career, upsetting Alison Riske in the opening round, Boulter took out France’s Garcia, a former top-five player, 7-6(5) 6-1 in an hour 30 minutes to notch up another milestone.
Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon champion, saw off Dart, 6-3 6-2, in just over an hour, and now the Romanian and the British No 4 will play each other in the Last 8.
Boulter, who is ranked 141 in the world and coming back from illness and injury, is finding good form ahead of Wimbledon, where she has been given a wild-card into the main draw.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic right now,” Boulter said after her match. “I’ve worked so hard, the past few weeks, with my injury.
“It, kind of, makes it feel worthwhile – and all the tough moments that I went through, and pushing through, really got me through today.
“I’m really happy to be in the quarter-finals and am looking forward to another good match.
“In the first set, it was tough for both of us. I was just trying to take care of my service games.
“I played a really good tiebreak and that is what it comes down to. I had to keep fighting and that is what I thought I did really well today.”
With British No 1 Emma Raducanu continuing to recover from a side strain before next week’s Rothesay International at Eastbourne, Boulter is making the most of her time in the spotlight as her aggressive game suits the faster grass courts.
The 25-year-old suffered a spinal stress fracture in 2019 soon after claiming a career-high world ranking of No 82, and was sidelined for 6 months, and bad luck struck again in March of this year when she picked up a leg injury weeks after winning a second-tier tournament in Grenoble, France, forcing her to skip the entire clay-court season.
Boulter needed a tiebreak to snatch the opening set after Garcia was unimpressed with a decision towards when the umpire overruled the line judge by calling her first serve out, and spent the changeover visibly frustrated.
The Briton took full advantage of her opponent’s distraction to break early in the second, going up 3-0, and fought off a break point in the 5th game before immediately breaking, and then serving out the match to love.
Meanwhile, in matches suspended overnight, Italy’s Camila Giorgi got past Czech Tereza Martincova, 7-6(7) 6-4, and China’s Zhang Shuai came from behind to beat Croatia’s Jana Fett, 5-7 6-3 6-3 to complete the 2nd-round of play.
Elsewhere, Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, the 6th seed here, beat lucky loser Aleksandra Krunic from Serbia, 6-1 6-1, while Croatia’s Donna Vekic got past American Caty McNally, 7-5 6-3, and they will play each other in the quarters.