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Harriet Dart reaches first WTA Tour semi-final at Transylvania Open

Harriet Dart reaches first WTA Tour semi-final at Transylvania Open
© Reuters
British number three Harriet Dart reaches her first-ever WTA Tour semi-final with a 6-3 6-2 win over Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the Transylvania Open.

Great Britain's Harriet Dart reached her first WTA Tour semi-final with an emphatic beating of Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open.

The British number three - who had to come through qualifying to reach the main draw - took just one hour and 37 minutes to post a 6-3 6-2 win and ensure a best-ever tournament result at the top level.

Standing in her way of a maiden WTA Tour final will be former world number one Karolina Pliskova or Italy's Sara Errani, who lock horns in the day's last quarter-final later this evening.

"I'm really excited to keep it going. I don't think either of us played particularly good tennis, I think both of us were a bit nervous," PA quotes Dart as saying after her eye-catching triumph. "I was just happy that I fought really hard, kept my head together and managed to take the close games and the big moments."

Dart - who was also playing in her first-ever hard-court WTA Tour quarter-final - made a disastrous start to Friday's match, ceding five break points in her opening service game, four of which she saved before Parrizas Diaz struck.

However, the world number 103 - who will move back into the top 100 by the close of play this week - responded expertly with a four-game winning streak, and despite wasting four chances for a triple break, she needed just one set point to inch closer to the last four.

A back-and-forth second set saw Dart earn an immediate double break for a 3-0 lead, although her second break represented one of five consecutive losses of serve for both players, as Diaz's improving returning game was rendered meaningless by multiple mistakes behind her own racquet.

The Spanish world number 132 managed to save one match point, but she could not deny Dart for a second time, as the Briton completed the job with an exquisite backhand right into the corner of the court.

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Harriet Dart in action at the Birmingham Classic on June 23, 2023
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