Nothing could sour Jack Draper’s mood or soil another memorable day for British tennis at Eastbourne.
Not even the seagull who did its business on the 20-year-old during his interview after a brilliant victory over Diego Schwartzman. His coach suffered the same fate earlier this week.
‘Is that good luck?’ asked Draper, inspecting his filthy hand. Time will tell, perhaps, when he plays his quarter-final on Thursday against either countryman Ryan Peniston or Spain’s Pedro Martinez, whose match was suspended with the Briton 3-2 up on serve in the final set.
Nothing could sour Jack Draper’s mood on a memorable day for British Tennis at Eastbourne
Not even the seagull who did its business on the 20-year-old as he toasted a brilliant 7-5, 7-6 victory over Argentine world No 15 Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday ahead of Wimbledon
Schwartzman (pictured) had had his hotel rooms burgled, with cash, watches and bags stolen
Draper has now beaten two top-15 players in two weeks. Not bad preparation for Wimbledon. He beat world No 14 Taylor Fritz at Queen’s and dealt with No 15 Schwartzman, too, winning 7-5, 7-6.
‘I’m feeling really confident… playing against these top guys is what I need,’ said the world No 108. ‘Hopefully I’ll be around that ranking pretty soon myself.’
For Schwartzman, some mitigation: the Argentine and Martinez both had their hotel rooms burgled, with cash, watches and bags stolen. The police are investigating.
A good day for the home guard began with British No 1 Cam Norrie kickstarting his grass-court season by beating Brandon Nakashima.
Three of the six British victories on Wednesday involved 25-year-old Harriet Dart (pictured)
Three of the six British victories on Wednesday involved Harriet Dart, the 25-year-old spending nearly four hours on court. First, she concluded victory over 10th seed Jil Teichmann 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Three more sets followed against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, Dart triumphing 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Then came doubles alongside Heather Watson. No rest? No problem.
Americans Desirae Krawczyk and Shelby Rogers were beaten 7-5, 6-4. Dart will recoup in familiar territory.
‘I’ll just be getting food from Pomodoro’s,’ she said. ‘It’s a great Italian restaurant, I’ll be having the same thing — spaghetti marinara.’ No such miracles for Jodie Burrage or Katie Boulter — both heroes on Tuesday.
Serena Williams (left), meanwhile, continued her comeback, reaching the doubles semi-finals alongside Ons Jabeur with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching
Boulter gave two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova a scare, winning the first set before the Czech levelled to set up a deciding set that was tense and tightly fought. Kvitova squeezed through 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 to face Dart.
Burrage was more soundly beaten. The world No 169 lost 6-1, 6-2 to the in-form Beatriz Haddad Maia, who has now won 12 matches in a row with titles in Nottingham and Birmingham.
British No 2 Dan Evans was beaten, too, in straight sets against Maxime Cressy. In the doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares beat Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 6-4, 7-5.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, continued her comeback, reaching the doubles semi-finals alongside Ons Jabeur with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching.