Burrage and Dunne Win Big on Successful Day for British Tennis

Two Brits will meet in the second round of qualifying at the Nature Valley Classic. Katy Dunne and Jodie Burrage won their respective first round matches to set up an eagerly-awaited clash for all British tennis fans.

The first of the British players to go through was Burrage, who was playing the returning Bojana Jovanovski Petrovic in her opening round match. It was a dogged, determined, and spirited performance from Burrage, who was facing one of the most aggressive players on tour. The Brit was matching power with power and forced Jovanovski Petrovic into committing errors more frequently than many would have expected.

The pleasing part to Burrage’s success today was the way in which she never truly put her head down in dismay or in disappointment when the match turned against her, which it did on a number of occasions. Jovanovski Petrovic led by a break advantage on two occasions at 2-1 and 3-2 in the first set, but the Brit remained resilient and took her chances when they presented themselves, showing no fear at playing someone who used to be ranked well inside the World’s Top 40.

The match moved into a first set tiebreak in which Jovanoski Petrovic quickly fell down 6-2, giving Burrage four opportunities to seal the set. The Serbian player nearly blasted her way back into the match with a series of forehand winners, but Burrage held her nerve on the last set point and captured the opener.

The second set would not only show how Burrage handles being in the leading position, but also how well she could maintain her level of play. Burrage competed at a great level when the match got tight and wasn’t afraid to go for her shots, even when under pressure. The Brit required threes breaks of serve to win the match in straight sets and scores her first ever WTA victory. Burrage had previously played three matches in the first round of qualifying at these events and has now shown that if you give enough opportunities to the players, they will use their previous experience and rise to the occasion.

Another British success in the qualifying saw Katy Dunne get a shock victory over World No.85 Natalia Vikhlyantseva. After dropping the first set routinely without claiming a single game, the Brit turned things around, stayed engaged and put together two fine sets of tennis to work her way towards a third WTA main draw. It’s a big opportunity for her tennis to improve. It is just the second time she has ever beaten a Top-100 player and Vikhlyantseva is no slouch, capable of playing very strong tennis, especially on the grass.

Dunne was understandably in high spirits following her career-best win and talked about the match-up against World No. 523 Burrage in the next round of qualifying: “I played Jodie a couple of weeks ago and it was a really tough match.  She is a young Brit who plays aggressive and is going to come at me tomorrow.  I’m just going to concentrate on doing my stuff and trying to perform as well as I can.”

Tomorrow will be a memorable day for British tennis and both players will certainly recognise that a win tomorrow could do the world of good in their development in the coming months and that opportunities like this don’t come around very often. Both players know that two more wins puts them into a rare main draw of an elite WTA tournament.

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