Ilkley | Miyazaki leads the way

Day Four at the LTA’s Ilkley Trophy saw three outstanding wins from British women. British No.6 Lily Miyazaki, from Surrey, produced an outstanding performance to start the day’s play on Centre Court by defeatingthe French former World No.10 Kristina Mladenovic 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4.

Every match that I get on grass I feel more and more comfortable on the surface and I think my level is there so yeah I’m really looking forward to Wimbledon Lily Miyazaki

Mladenovic, who won the Roland Garros women’s doubles title with compatriot Caroline Garcia just 10 days ago, took the first set on a tiebreak. However, a determined Miyazaki fought back with some intelligent passing shots to take both the second and third sets 6-4.

“I mean it was a really tough match, there wasn’t much in it. Every set was really close, I think we were both serving pretty well but, yeah I think in the end it literally came down to a few points and either of us could have taken it so I’m really happy that I got through,” Miyazaki said.

“Every match that I get on grass I feel more and more comfortable on the surface and I think my level is there so yeah I’m really looking forward to Wimbledon.”

Later in the day, 20-year-old Sonay Kartal defeated Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands 6-3 6-7(1) 6-2.

Kartal, who yesterday was awarded a wild card into the singles main draw at Wimbledon, recovered well after losing the second set tiebreak to regain the lead and win the match in three sets.

“She was really tricky with the game she plays, it’s very aggressive and in the tiebreak in the second set I think she hit like five forehand winners so that was just too good but you know I just kept telling myself if she can keep this level for the whole match then too good,” Kartal admitted.

“I just tried to stick with it and kind of not let her get ahead in the third set and make sure I could get on a good stride.

“I’ve loved all the grass tournaments in the lead up, you know it’s an incredible club and I’ve never been here before and the tournament has been put on exceptionally well and the grass courts are playing really nice so yeah, it’s a really good tournament to play prior to Wimbledon.”

Briton Jodie Burrage completed the day’s hat-trick of wins for British women in the ITF W100 event. Burrage, from Surrey, defeated recent Surbiton Trophy runner-up Arina Rodionova 6-3 7-5.

“it was a bit of a weird match but obviously played a good match. Yeah, it was just a bit weird because the whole vibe was a little weird like I was quite quiet, she was quite quiet which isn’t normal for both of us,”

Burrage said “I haven’t been feeling great which is why I didn’t have that much energy and that’s why I was a bit quiet so I’m actually really happy to get through that one in two as well so saving my energy a little bit but yeah it was a really good match and I served really well today which helped me get through the tight moments.”

Elsewhere at the Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club on Wednesday Spanish sixth seed Fernando Verdasco fell to Frenchman Constant Lestienne 6-3 7-5. Yanina Wickmayer proved too tough a test for 14-year-old Welsh star Mingge Xu on what was the teenager’s professional debut. The experienced Belgian, who is 18 years older than Xu, won 6-2 6-2.

“I guess it’s a big jump from juniors to womens and I’m not really used to it but it’s good experience. I’ve played a few 25Ks but this is my first 100K event,” Xu said.

“I feel like it was good experience for me and I can learn lots from it. She has probably been in these moments before and it just kind of like showed today I guess but there’s a lot I can take from it and I’m headed in the right direction, especially before next week.”

“I try to stay calm and just focus on my goals.”

Xu will next play at the Wimbledon Qualifying Singles event after being given a wild card in the qualifying draw at SW19.



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