Great Britain will have a representative in Thursday’s junior quarter-final matches after Gabriella Taylor recorded an impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Switzerland’s Rebeka Masarova in their girls’ last-16 contest.
Taylor was the last domestic hope standing after eight British juniors were eliminated from the tournament at the second-round stage on Tuesday. Six of them were boys – Finn Bass, Jay Clarke, Ben Draper, Luke Hammond, Ewan Moore and Ryan Storrie – while two girls – Jodie Burrage and Francesca Jones – were also defeated. Taylor was expected to follow their path given that in Masarova she was not only coming up against the No2 seed but also the reigning junior French Open champion.
However, it took the 18-year-old from Southampton only 55 minutes to beat her more established opponent and set up a last-eight meeting with the American No5 seed Kayla Day.
Taylor’s victory prevented Britain from having no players in the quarter-final stages of the junior competition for the first time since 2012 and the teenager should be confident of progressing further, and possibly emulating Laura Robson’s title win of 2008 given her form. She has yet to drop a set in her three matches, with the American Morgan Coppoc and the Italian Lucrezia Steffani defeated prior to the win over Masarova, who is two years Taylor’s junior, on Court 17.
Although Masarova delivered more aces than Taylor – four to one – the British player’s serve was generally more consistent. She also won more points at the net – nine to two – and hit more winners – 21 to 14.
Whatever happens against Day, Taylor will step up to the main tour next month. Ranked No419 in the world, she already has experience of competing at that level having taken part in seven senior ITF tour events this year, as well as the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, where she lost in qualifying.
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