Powerful players Petra Kvitova and Camila Giorgi moved into the Rothesay International semifinals after they both picked up straight-sets quarterfinal victories on Thursday in Eastbourne.
No.14 seed Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion on the grass, eased past last remaining Brit Harriet Dart 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 25 minutes of play.
Stellar serving: In their first meeting, Kvitova was a force to be reckoned with behind her delivery. The Czech, who won her two Wimbledon titles in 2011 and 2014, hit eight aces and was never broken. Kvitova faced just one break point, which came in the very last game of the match.
"I’m always trying to serve well; sometimes it’s working more, sometimes it’s not," Kvitova said afterward. "Today I didn’t have a weak game, so it was nice to have for sure, especially at the end of the match when it’s always tough to close it out."
The win gives Kvitova a needed boost in the 2022 season, as she is back to .500 on the year (13-13). Kvitova is into her first semifinal on tour this season, with quarterfinal showings at Miami and Dubai her previous best results for the year.
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Despite the loss, the week still marked another step up for World No.103 Dart, who posted two wins on Wednesday to reach her first WTA 500 quarterfinal. Dart made her first tour-level quarterfinal just two weeks ago in Nottingham.
Grass greatness: Making her seventh appearance in Eastbourne, Kvitova is into the Rothesay International semifinals for just the second time in her career. She lost to Marion Bartoli in the 2011 Eastbourne final, mere weeks before Kvitova claimed her breakthrough major at Wimbledon.
Kvitova is now into her eighth career grass-court semifinal. Among active players, only Serena Williams (13), Angelique Kerber (11) and Venus Williams (10) have more grass-court semifinal showings.
Kvitova is a pair of victories away from her 29th career singles title. Four of those crowns have come on grass, with two Birmingham titles accompanying her two Wimbledon trophies.
Giorgi sweeps: Earlier, No.12 seed Giorgi of Italy won the first quarterfinal of the day, cruising past lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.
World No.128 Tomova entered the main draw after Ons Jabeur withdrew from singles, and she made the most of it. The Bulgarian won back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time this year, reaching her first WTA 500 quarterfinal by defeating Kirsten Flipkens. Flipkens had beaten Tomova in qualifying just days before.
But the Bulgarian's run was swiftly stopped by World No.26 Giorgi, who was commanding throughout their first meeting. Giorgi fired five aces, won 82 percent of points behind her first serve, and claimed two-thirds of points when returning the Tomova second service.
With the victory, Giorgi matched her Eastbourne semifinal result from last year, and is one win away from her first trip to the Rothesay International final. The Italian has three singles titles on her resume, and her first career title came on grass at 's-Hertogenbosch in 2015.