Brit Tara Moore produced the shock of the Aegon Open Nottingham so far to get past America’s World No. 67, Christina McHale to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA event for the first time in her career.
The 23-year-old qualifier, ranked 213 places below McHale, showed poise, confidence and sheer audacity at times against the No. 8 seed to blast her way into the last eight at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
She returns to Centre Court on Friday to face Zheng Saisai of China, who beat British star and No. 2 seed Johanna Konta in the second round on Thursday. Both of Zheng Saisai’s victories in Nottingham this week have been against Brits, with the World No. 86 beating Nottinghamshire local Freya Christie in the opening round.
Already Moore has won five matches in Nottingham, coming through qualifying and adding to an impressive start to the grass-court season after reaching the final of the Aegon Trophy Eastbourne last week.
On her win over McHale, Moore said: “Wow, that’s all I can really say. I’m really happy, I didn’t expect to play that well but I definitely came out swinging and I’m definitely in good form at the moment. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing and hopefully everyone enjoys it as much as I am.”
British No. 4 Moore is the last remaining local hope in the singles, as Konta failed to match her 2015 performance when she reached the quarter-finals, going down to 6-4 7-5 against Zheng Saisai.
Konta required a medical time out at 2-1 up in the second set and needed more treatment in the following game, but insists she is planning to continue her grass-court preparations ahead of The Championships, Wimbledon, by playing at the Aegon Classic Birmingham and Aegon International Eastbourne in coming weeks.
“I picked up a little niggle in that match, but felt like I could get through it,” she said. “My pelvis basically rotated out of position. It’s just a small niggle and I need look to look after it. I’ll be looking to take care of it and look forward to the next match.”
Quarter-final day at the Aegon Open starts with America’s Alison Riske taking on Anett Kontaveit, before top seed and World No. 17 Karolina Pliskova faces Australia’s Ashleigh Barty – who is featuring in her first WTA event after returning to the sport and a spell playing cricket.
Moore is third up and fourth seed Monica Puig then faces Tamira Paszek in the last match of the day.
Elsewhere, Naomi Broady remains the last remaining Brit in the hunt for doubles silverware, teaming up with Anatasija Sevastova to battle back and overcome second seeds Xu Yifan and Zheng Saisai 2-6 7-5 [10-6] to move into the semi-finals.
You can follow all the action from the Aegon Open Nottingham, including post-match reaction by going the live tournament blog. or search ‘Aegon Open Nottingham’.
Tickets to the Aegon Open Nottingham quarter-finals on Friday are available for as little as £25. Please visit the tournament website for more information.
For those fans coming down later in the day, they can take advantage of the twilight ticket offer, with adults £10 and children (4-16) free.
AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND, $250,000, 6-12 JUNE, 2016
RESULTS – JUNE 09, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
S. Zheng (CHN) d  J. Konta (GBR) 64 75
[Q] T. Moore (GBR) d  C. Mchale (USA) 62 62
[Q] A. Barty (AUS) d [LL] A. Hlavackova (CZE) 60 46 64
[LL] T. Paszek (AUT) d M. Rybarikova (SVK) 63 31 Retired
Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Peng (CHN) d  H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) 62 76(3)
N. Broady (GBR) / A. Sevastova (LAT) d  Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) 26 75 10-6
Ka. Pliskova (CZE) / Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d  X. Han (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) 64 63
 G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Z. Yang (CHN) d A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / L. Zhu (CHN) 62 62
ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
A. Riske (USA) vs A. Kontaveit (EST)
 [WC] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs [Q] A. Barty (AUS)
[Q] T. Moore (GBR) vs S. Zheng (CHN)
 M. Puig (PUR) vs [LL] T. Paszek (AUT)