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Katie Boulter to meet Simona Halep in Birmingham quarter-finals

Katie Boulter to meet Simona Halep in Birmingham quarter-finals
© Reuters
Britain's Katie Boulter beats Caroline Garcia to make the Birmingham Classic quarter-finals, where she will meet Simona Halep after her victory against Harriet Dart.

Britain's Katie Boulter advanced to the quarter-finals of the Birmingham Classic with an eye-catching victory over France's Caroline Garcia on Wednesday.

Fresh from her first-ever victory over a top-40 player in Alison Riske, Boulter advanced to the last eight courtesy of a 7-6 [7-5] 6-1 victory over Garcia in front of the home crowd.

The 25-year-old pushed her injury woes to one side as she wrapped up a tense first set following Garcia's double fault, and her opponent almost let her emotions get the better of her later in the contest.

The second set was a much more straightforward affair for Boulter, who took all three of her chances to break Garcia on the day as she continues preparations for Wimbledon.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic right now. I've worked so hard the past few weeks with my injury so it makes all the tough moments worthwhile. Pushing through it really got me through it today," Boulter said during her on-court interview.

"In the first set it was tough for both of us, we were both serving really well. I was just trying to take care of my service games and I knew she was going to be strong on hers. I played a really good tie-break, it all comes down to one point and I just had to keep fighting.

"I just wanted to have a smile on my face and enjoy what I was doing out there. I think it's my fourth quarter-final but this one means more! I've come through a lot of adversity, this is my first quarter-final in Birmingham so that's why it's special."

Simona Halep reacts at the Birmingham Classic on June 15, 2022© Reuters

Boulter - who will enter Wimbledon as a wildcard - could have been facing an all-British quarter-final with Harriet Dart, who got off to a dream start against second seed Simona Halep.

Dart managed to remarkably return a Halep serve before the two-time Grand Slam winner netted to hand her opponent an early break, but there was little joy for Dart after that.

The 2019 Wimbledon champion soon found her stride to storm to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Dart, sealing the deal as the 25-year-old returned long from her pinpoint second serve.

"I feel great. I feel like I played better than in the previous match. She [Dart] is never easy to play against, and I apologise we played together two years ago!" Halep said.

"She is used to this service but I'm really pleased with the way I played. I have the fire, I'm looking forward to playing as many matches as possible and getting that feeling I had back in 2019."

Halep posted four aces on the day compared to just one for Dart, who also racked up five double faults against the Romanian.

One of Lauren Davis, Camila Giorgi, Magdalena Frech or Beatriz Haddad Maia will await the victor of Boulter and Halep's clash in the semi-finals, as the quartet prepare for their round-of-16 battles on Thursday.

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Harriet Dart in action at the Nottingham Open on June 6, 2022
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