Kingston’s Jodie Burrage admitted she had sympathy for her opponent and sixth-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu, who was forced to pull out of their quarter-final match at the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy due to injury, writes Oli Dickson Jefford in Surbiton.
Burrage - who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 – was trailing 3-6 2-1 when former top 20 player Buzarnescu was forced to retire after injuring her knee two points earlier.
Having also suffered an injury at this tournament previously, Burrage admitted it was difficult to see her opponent struggle despite her delight at moving onto the last four.
“I have injured myself here before. Last time I was here I had to have an ankle operation after my last match, so it’s really not nice to see someone fall. I was slipping a bit as well I feel fortunate not to have hurt myself, but it’s a big semi-final for me and I’m glad to be through until tomorrow,” she said.
“It was a battle for sure. The games felt really long. I think I played some good tennis in there. I’m not totally happy with my game, I think I’ll probably get back out on the practice court for a little bit and work on some things for tomorrow.
“Generally I’m playing well, I’m playing solid, and I’m happy to be in the semi-finals.”
Having entered the main draw as a wildcard, Burrage will now face second seed and World No.60 Alison Van Uytvanck in the last four – an opponent 200 spots above her in the rankings.
And though she is prepared for another tough match, the Kingston star is relishing the chance to play in front of a British crowd in one of the biggest matches of her career.
Burrage commented: “It’s been a really physical, really demanding, especially first week on the grass, your body getting used to it. I’ll definitely rest up, recover, get some good treatment in and be ready to go tomorrow.
“I haven’t played Van Uytvanck before. She’s top 100, she’s been on the tour for a long, long time, I’m going to enjoy the challenge and see what happens tomorrow.
“It’s great playing in front of the crowd. It does make such a massive difference when they’re on your side. It’s a semi-final of a 100k, I don’t think I’ve ever got this far in a bigger tournament, so it’s probably one of the biggest matches I’ve played.
“I’m just enjoying each one and loving being back on the grass.”
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