Harriet Dart triumphs in Transylvania but Watson crashes out in Abu Dhabi | Tennis
Harriet Dart is set to return to the top 100 after defeating fifth seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open.
The 27-year-old, who came through qualifying, recovered from a set and 3-0 down to claim a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory in Cluj-Napoca. It is the fifth time Dart has made the last eight at a WTA Tour event but the first away from the British grass, with her last such run coming in Birmingham last summer.
Having gone into the week ranked 103, Dart is now virtually certain of joining fellow British players Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage in the top 100 after slipping down the rankings last year. Dart looked to be heading for the exit door when she was unable to take three set points at 5-4 in the opener and lost six games in a row.
But she clawed her way back, taking her third chance to win the second set and then keeping her nose in front in the decider despite an injury timeout for treatment to her neck.
“I had some set points in the first set, wasn’t able to convert, but I thought she played good on the big points,” said Dart.
“It’s such small margins in tennis. Even though it was 3-0, there’s always a chance and you just have to keep fighting. I got a small bit of a chance and I was able to take it. I’m just trying to build on each match. It’s been great to get lots of matches through the qualifying here, get used to the surface. I’m really enjoying my time in Cluj.”
Dart will take on unseeded Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz for a place in the semi-finals.
Fellow Brit Heather Watson’s run at the Abu Dhabi Open came to an end in the last 16. Watson, who scored an impressive win over world number 16 Veronika Kudermetova in the previous round, was beaten 7-6 (1), 7-5 by Spanish lucky loser Cristina Bucsa.