Ilkley Trophy: Sonay Kartal gains confidence ahead of Wimbledon qualifying with repeat run to final four

Brighton’s Sonay Kartal matched her semi-final Ilkley Trophy run of last year, but it wasn’t to be for Charles Broom.

21-year-old Kartal, ranked 303 in the world, is the last Brit standing in singles competition after a 6-3 6-3 victory over 110-ranked Aliona Bolsova (25) of Spain.

After her straight sets victory, which was her sixth triumph over a top-200 opponent of the grass court season, Kartal said: “Coming into it I knew, with her previous results here, she’s gone a lot of three setters, and she’s made them go all the way.

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“I know yesterday that she saved three match points, so I knew the match wasn’t over until the last ball was hit.

Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTAFEELING POSITIVE: Sonay Kartal 
Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA
FEELING POSITIVE: Sonay Kartal Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA

“I’ve been happy with my level, I was a bit slow today, but I think at key moments I managed to get it back. I went the break down and just made sure I didn’t panic, and just kind of stayed steady.

“I knew the match had a long way to go until it was over. So, I just slowly chipped away and tried to find better tennis each game.”

Kartal will now play the tournament’s number one seed Emma Navarro of the USA. On building confidence on the grass courts, she added: “I think so far, my grass tennis this season has been the best it has been.

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“Each match I’m getting more confidence and I’ve beaten some great players already this past couple of weeks.

END OF THE LINE: Charles Broom saw his hopes of reaching the final four in the Ilkley Trophy dashed. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images for LTAEND OF THE LINE: Charles Broom saw his hopes of reaching the final four in the Ilkley Trophy dashed. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images for LTA
END OF THE LINE: Charles Broom saw his hopes of reaching the final four in the Ilkley Trophy dashed. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images for LTA

“So I think, looking ahead to the rest of the tournament and Wimbledon qualifying, I’m going into it feeling confident in my game.”

Also moving into the women’s singles semi-finals is last year’s champion, Dalma Galfi, 24, who played out an intense three-set marathon with 22-year-old Colombian Emiliana Arango.

Both women felt they were on the wrong end of incorrect line calls and shared frustration throughout, but the Hungarian world number 132 got over the line in a final set tiebreak 2-6 6-3 7-6(7-5).

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Swedish 24-year-old Mirjam Bjorklund will face Galfi in the semi-final after Ukrainian Daria Snigur had to retire through injury at 0-4 down in their opening set.

Hertfordshire’s Charles Broom battled all the way in his quarter-final against Hungary’s Zsombor Piros, ranked 123 in the world, but fell in a final set tiebreak.

435-ranked Broom (25) piled pressure on the Piros serve throughout the opening set and, after not managing to secure a break of serve, took the tiebreak 7-3.

But 23-year-old Piros turned the tide and won the second set 6-3, before securing the tiebreak 7-2 after a close-fought final set.

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Nottingham finalist Arthur Cazaux (20) received a pass to the semi-final when Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro had to retire with the Frenchman 6-1 6-0 ahead.

Third seed Sebastian Ofner of Austria beat 2015 Ilkley Trophy champion, Denis Kudla (USA), in straight sets, and Aussie Jason Kubler (30) won the battle of former junior world number 1s against 18-year-old Chinese qualifier Juncheng Shang.

There will also be British representation in the semi-final of the women’s doubles where Holly Hutchinson (25) and Madeleine Brooks (26) beat the pair of Switzerland’s Simona Waltert and Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece.

Lexus Ilkley Trophy - $125,000 ATP Challenger, quarter-finals: Sebastian Ofner (Ast) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-2, 6-2; Zsombor Piros (Hun) bt Charles Broom (Gbr) 6-7, 6-3, 7-6; Arthur Cazaux (Fra) bt Sho Shimabukoro (Jpn) 6-1, 1-0rtd; Jason Kubler (Aus) bt Juncheng Shang (Chn) 6-3, 6-4.

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Doubles quarter-finals: JP Smith (Aus) & Robert Galloway (USA) bt Gijs Brouwer & Jesper de Jong (Ned) 6-3, 7-6; Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) & Anirudh Chandrasekhar (Ind) 7-6, 7-6; Juan Escobar (Ecu) & Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) bt Hendrik Jebens & Constantin Frantzen (Ger) 6-4, 3-6, 10-4; Joris De Loore & Zizou Bergs (Bel) bt David Pel & Sander Arends (Ned) 3-6, 7-5, 11-9. Semi-final: Smith & Galloway bt Qureshi & Balaji 1-6, 6-3, 10-8.

Lexus Ilkley Trophy - $100,000 ITF Women’s World Tour, second round: Nao Hibino (Jpn) bt Maja Chwalinska (Pol) 6-1, 6-3; Emma Navarro (USA) bt Himeno Sakatsume (Jpn) 6-4, 6-1; Daria Snigur (Ukr) bt Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-2, 6-4; Mirjam Bjorklund (Swe) bt Ankita Raina (Ind) 6-2, 6-1; Emiliana Arango (Col) bt Carole Monnet (Fra) 6-0, 6-1; Dalma Galfi (Hun) bt Katrina Scott (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Quarter-finals: Sonay Kartal (Gbr) bt Aliona Bolsova Zaidonov (Spa) 6-3, 6-3; Bjorklund bt Snigur 4-0rtd; Navarro bt Hibino 6-1, 7-5; Galfi bt Arango 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.

Doubles quarter-finals: Jessy Rompies & Prarthana Thombare (Idn) bt Bolsova Zaidonov & Bjorklund w.o.; Holly Hutchinson & Madeleine Brooks bt Valentini Grammatikopoulou (Gre) & Simona Waltert (Swi) 1-6, 6-1, 10-6; Maja Chwalinska (Pol) & Jesika Maleckova bt Sophie Chang & Quinn Gleason (USA) 4-6, 7-6, 10-7; Nao Hibino (Jpn) & Natalija Stevanovic (Srb) bt Else Jacquemot (Fra) & Raluca Georgiana Serban (Cyp) 2-6, 7-6, 10-8.