If I were to choose between Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Naomi Broady, Tara Moore, Freya Christie and Laura Robson to be the sole Brit left in the WTA International quarter-finals in Nottingham this week, Moore would have been close to the bottom of my list. But the British qualifier is enjoying a massive upturn in form as the grass season kicks into action and has now surpassed her fellow Brits in this week’s event by making the quarters.
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) June 9, 2016
Only Moore and Konta were left after a poor first round for the Brits, yet event second seeded Konta couldn’t come past Chinese Saisai Zheng in the second round, with the Brit falling 6-4 7-5 after the Chinese world #85 produced a solid display with 5 breaks of serve and 9 out of 12 close matches won.
And very few people thought Moore, who was up against 8th seed and world #67 Christina McHale, would be able to do what Konta couldn’t and reach the quarter-finals. But a devastating display from the Brit secured a 6-2 6-2 victory over the shell-shocked American, with Moore picking up 8 out of 9 close games, 72% of big points and easily her best win of the year. For many, the performance was one of the best a female Brit has produced this year, with several members of the British Tennis Forums raving about the incredible (and unexpected) quality of Tara’s movement, shot-making and general level of play.
Next up for the in-form Moore is Konta’s conqueror Zheng. Moore is currently 9-1 win-loss on grass, while Zheng is #4 on the tour in terms of second service points won, so Tara will need her serve to be firing if she’s to have a chance of getting past the dangerous Chinese 22-year-old. The British 23-year-old has already surpassed her previous high weekly points haul – she has 78 already this week – and will quite possibly find herself moving back towards her career high of #183 a lot sooner than many may have anticipated.