(June 20, 2018) Second seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine advanced 7-5, 6-2 over France’s Alize Cornet in her campaign to win the Nature Valley Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club on Wednesday.
“Here in Birmingham, it’s my first time in the quarters, so finally I made it through, fourth or fifth attempt. I’m happy the way I played today, the two matches here,” said Svitolina.
“Well, last year even Wimbledon I played fourth round. You kind of just not feel good on grass and play fourth round. So I’m working hard to feel comfortable.”
“My goal is always to win the tournament. It’s always the goal. When I come into the tournament, it’s always the goal for me to win the tournament. I take it one day at a time, but in my mind I always have the highest goals for every tournament I enter.”
2009 champion Magdalena Rybarikova had to rally past Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 6-2 6-1.
“I was playing much better in the second and third set, but I think Kristina was serving very well in the first set and I couldn’t somehow read the serves,” noted the winner. “And even at the end of the first set, I knew she was going to serve a lot of wide, but I couldn’t hit the right return at that moment. Then she deserves to win the first set. She was better. Then I think I was playing much better.”
“I start to serve much better and also hitting the targets, because in the first set, even I was just serving. I think I didn’t serve quite close to the lines and she was reading it very well. And then, of course, when the serve works, the confidence, it’s much better, and I was believing I could make a good match.”
Qualifier Dalilia Jakupovic of Slovenia reached the quarterfinals when Japan’s Noami Osaka had to retire with an abdominal injury after Jakupovic won the first set 6-3.
Midlands-born Katie Boulter joined British countrywoman Heather Watson to earn a close victory in their first round doubles match, overcoming Lyudmyla Kichenok and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.
It was a good day all around for Boulter, who was rewarded for her recent grass-court form with a wildcard into the singles draw at WImbledon. “It means the world to me,” said Boulter. “It’s another day playing at Wimbledon, which you don’t get to do every day of the week. I’m so grateful for Wimbledon believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”
NATURE VALLEY CLASSIC – BIRMINGHAM – BIRMINGHAM, UK
JUNE 18 – 24, 2018
RESULTS – WEDNESDAY 20th JUNE 2018
M Rybarikova (SVK) d. K Mladenovic (FRA) 36 62 61
(Q) D Jakupovic (SLO) d. N Osaka (JPN) 63 ret (abdominal injury)
M Buzarnescu (ROM) d. P Martic (CRO) 46 63 62
(2)(WC) Elina Svitolina (UKR) Alize Cornet (FRA) 64 62
N Melichar/K Peschke d. D.Kasatkina/G. Muguruza 16 76(5) 14-12
(4) B Krejikova/K Siniakova d. J Goerges/K Pliskova 64 64
(WC) K Boulter/H Watson d. L Kichenok/A Kudryavtseva 63 46 10-4
E Mertens/D Schuurs d. S Aoyama/R Olaru 63 26 10-7
H Chan/ Z Yang d. (3) L Chan/D Gabrowski 64 36 10-5
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2018
ANN JONES CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am
D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs  P. Kvitova (CZE)
 G. Muguruza (ESP) vs B. Strycova (CZE)
 J. Goerges (GER) vs A. Barty (AUS)
L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs  D. Kasatkina (RUS)
COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
 T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs V. King (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
Not Before 5:00 pm
After suitable rest if needed –  B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) or J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs [WC] K. Boulter (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR)