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Harriet Dart run ends in Nottingham quarter-finals
The British number three lost in three sets to American sixth seed Alison Riske.
Harriet Dart’s bid to reach her first WTA Tour semi-final ended in defeat to American Alison Riske at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham.
British number three Dart took the opening set in an impressive start before sixth seed Riske hit back to win 4-6 6-2 6-1 in two hours and 26 minutes.
Dart had beaten Italian third seed Camila Giorgi on Thursday in a rain-delayed match over two days to reach the last eight of a WTA Tour event for the first time.
But Riske, who overcame 2019 champion Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals, proved too strong for the world number 114.
Dart was broken in the sixth game of the opening set to trail 4-2, but responded with two breaks of her own to take the first set in just over an hour.
Both players lost their opening service games in the second set, but Riske took control with two more breaks to lead 5-2 and then served out to level the match.
Dart held serve to lead 1-0 in the decider, but was broken on three more occasions as Riske wrapped it up in 38 minutes to reach her sixth career semi-final on grass.
Maria Sakkari lost to Brazilian seventh seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, who stunned the Greek top seed 6-4 4-6 6-3.
Czech player Tereza Martincova beat China’s fourth seed Zhang Shuai in straight sets, 6-3 6-2, and will play Haddad Maia in the semi-finals.
Riske will face Swiss Viktorija Golubic, who was a 6-2 7-6 (6) winner over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
In the men’s ATP Challenger event, Dan Evans kept the British flag flying in singles with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler.
The British number two is looking for his second title at the event having lifted the trophy in 2019.
Liam Broady missed out on his chance to reach the last four after losing 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-4 to American seventh seed Jack Sock, who will now face Evans.
World number 144 Broady, ranked 34 places lower than Sock, hit back after losing a 59-minute opening set on a tie-break by breaking his opponent three times in the second to level the match.
But the British number five was unable to maintain his momentum in the decider as Sock sealed a decisive break in the opening game and went on to hold his next four service games for victory in two hours and 11 minutes.
Essex’s Ryan Peniston, the British number seven, saw his run ended in a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Australian fifth seed Alexei Popyrin in Friday’s opening quarter-final match.
Broady and Peniston were nevertheless both rewarded for their efforts with wild cards into the cinch Championships at Queen’s next week, joining Evans, Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper in the main draw.
Twenty-year-old Draper, who made the quarter-finals last summer, is guaranteed to break into the top 100 for the first time on Monday.
Dart and Katie Boulter, meanwhile, have been awarded wild cards into the Rothesay Classic Birmingham.