Harriet Dart served up a hat-trick of wins at Rothesay International Eastbourne on Wednesday and revealed a spaghetti marinara was the secret to her success.
The world No. 103 started the day by ending her second-round match with tenth-seeded Jil Teichmann, securing a tight decider on Court Four to go 7-6 (7) 4-6 6-3 triumph.
After a short break, the home favorite was back in action and on Court Two, where she defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
She became the first British player in five years to finish in the last eight of the Devonshire Park event and she ended a busy day by teaming up with Heather Watson, who reached the singles semi-final here in 2017 to win the American defeat duo Desirae Krawczyk and Shelby Rogers 7-5 6-4.
While the first and third matches of the day only had to be played to completion, having been suspended due to poor light the previous evenings, Dart spent more than three hours on the course.
Your reward after three wins? A trip to her happy Italian restaurant.
“I’m just happy to leave this place before dark so that’s definitely a real plus,” admitted the British number two.
“Only it sounds really silly, but I do everything pretty much the same. So I’m just going to get food from Pomodoro’s, a great Italian restaurant that I’m sure you all know is like that. have the same. I know it’s boring, but it works.”
Asked about the formula for success. Dart revealed: “The spaghetti marinara. It’s good.”
Dart’s success will put them in the top 100 and ensure there was home representation in the women’s event after Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage both saw their good runs come to an end.
British number four, Boulter, pushed two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to the limit, but went under 5-7, 6-0, 7-5.
The 25-year-old reeled off five games in a row to win the opener but the former world number two upped her level thereafter and even two stoppages due to medical emergencies in the crowd couldn’t derail the Czech, who was in two hours triumphed 23 minutes.
Burrage, fresh off a career-best scalp against Paula Badosa on Tuesday, was unable to match the in-form Beatriz Haddad Maia in the third game on Center Court.
Haddad Maia was able to break the home player in service four, showing why she had won events in Nottingham and Birmingham in the past two weeks.
World No. 169 Burrage could come on next in the third game of the second set, suffering a 6-1, 6-2 loss in just over an hour despite some excellent backhand winners.
Camila Giorgi clinched a lovely 7-5, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded and former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in the round of 16, and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko stayed on course to retain her WTA 500 title after opponent Madison Keys was forced to withdraw.
On the men’s side of the draw, Cameron Norrie saw off Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day to earn his first win on grass this summer, while British junior Jack Draper took on world No. 15 Diego Schwartzman amazed.
Norrie suffered an early elimination at the Queen’s Club last week but put on a winning display against his American opponent whom he broke on three separate occasions.
An all-British quarter-final match between world No. 12 and Dan Evans was rejected after the latter lost to Maxime Cressy 7-6(2) 6-4.
Draper delivered a memorable win on Center Court after a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over Schwartzman.
In a two hour and four minute round of 16 clash, Britain’s number four Draper overtook the Argentine and proved his patience in the big points, with six aces helping his cause.
Next up for Draper in the last eight could be a second clash of the summer with Ryan Peniston, whose match against Pedro Martinez was halted 7-6(8) 3-6 3-2 just after 8.30pm in Eastbourne.
“All British I also have a really good relationship with Cam, Dan, Andy (Murray) and Ryan. We train together every day,” Draper said.
“I think that’s one thing where British tennis is changing. We want to push each other to get in the top 100 and I’m really happy for Ryan.
“He’s having an amazing couple of weeks. I hope I play it tomorrow. Three Brits in the quarterfinals would be a good achievement.”
Defending champion Alex De Minaur also made progress on Wednesday but second seed Jannik Sinner was beaten by Tommy Paul in the ATP 250 event.