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The Draw: 30 June

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Friday, 23 June 2017 09:24 AM BST
Vandeweghe making waves on grass rounds up the action from Birmingham and Ilkley. READ MORE

Coco Vandeweghe is putting together a strong case to be considered a title contender at Wimbledon after recording a  6-1, 6-3 win over Johanna Konta, the world No.7, at the Aegon Classic, an eye-catching result that will have been noted by the rest of the sport.

Vandeweghe is at pains to play down her chances, but with former Wimbledon singles champion Pat Cash now coaching the big hitting American, they form a heady combination that may just take her deep into The Championships. Vandeweghe produced an outstanding first set that left Konta struggling to get into the match and despite a better showing the second set, the British No.1 was second best in every department.

Vandeweghe, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2015, now faces former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the last eight in Birmingham and said "I have learned the more Grand Slams that I have played, you need a little bit of luck, especially when the weather has such a part to play at Wimbledon. And I've had experience so far this year going a step closer than my previous best, which was quarter-finals, to semi-finals. So all you can ask for is to play match by match.

“With a new coach comes different wants and asks of the player. And so it's kind of adjusting around that at the start, but we had a week in Holland to kind of managed that and figured that out. But Pat's pretty simple in what he wants for me. It's more just kind of managing the rest of it and him kind of getting into my routine.”

Konta insisted the loss did not signal a mini-crisis in the build up to Wimbledon which next takes her to Eastbourne. She said: "I actually played two good matches here. I played a very good first round against someone who made semis last week in s-Hertogenbosch. I think I played a great match there. I think last week I played five great matches. I lost to a player who played better than me on the day.

“Me losing second round against a very good player on this surface is by no means a blow. It's part of the game. Just because I am seven in the world does not mean I am entitled to winning every single match. My job is to go out there and do the best that I can.”

Muguruza delivered a confident performance to knock out experienced grass court player Alison Riske, from the USA. Muguruza won 6-1, 6-4, serving out the match in style and appears to be putting together the kind of form that saw her reach the 2015 Wimbledon singles final, where she lost to Serena Williams, the player she would beat a year later to take the French Open singles title in Paris.

Muguruza accepts there is no clear favourite for Wimbledon and as a former finalist she is in the title mix, although she is taking nothing for granted. The Spaniard said: "I feel like a lot of people are thinking because the three big names or four or whatever are not playing now, everybody is thinking, 'oh, that's my opportunity or I should reach the final'. And in fact, it is not happening for a bunch of girls that maybe were like the next ones to win.”

Elina Svitolina, the Ukrainian world No.5, has a worrying foot injury that may force her to pull out of Wimbledon. The injury is affecting her movement on court and despite showing plenty of fight before losing in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to Camila Giorgi, of Italy, at the Aegon Classic, the Rome champion accepted she may have to take a break from tennis to ensure she is able to compete for the rest of the year.

The thought of missing The Championships is hard for Svitolina to deal with and she admitted: "I still have this issue with my leg and I couldn't really show even like 50 percent of what I can do. All the time I was late with my feet so that's why I didn't give myself any opportunity to manage the point. I still have pain and I think I will have one week preparation for Wimbledon. I don't want to endanger the end of the season and that is why it's very tough to think about Wimbledon.

“It’s difficult because I don't want to say (I will sit out Wimbledon) because I was really looking forward to this year at Wimbledon."

Giorgi, who is ranked 102, moves through to a quarter-final clash with Australia's Ashleigh Barty, a grass court specialist.

Former Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson could not hold onto her lead at the Aegon Ilkley Trophy at the last 16 stage, letting a one-set advantage slip before losing to Belgian Maryna Zanevska 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, the former world No.9 who is now down at No.86 in the rankings, beat Maria Sanchez 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 in two hours and 35 minutes, while Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova continued her good form beating second seed Viktorija Golubic, of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-3.

British No.9 Jay Clarke produced the shock of the day as he knocked out Ukrainian Illya Marchenko in straight sets to reach the last eight. Clarke, 19-years-old from Derby, dominated the top 50 player, who played Andy Murray at the Australian Open earlier this year, winning 6-4, 7-6(6) . Australia’s Sam Groth triumphed 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Britain’s Marcus Willis who fired off 14 aces but could not keep up his groundstroke quality during the final set, finishing the match with a weak drop shot into the net.

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