Daria Gavrilova has continued her dream run to reach the quarter-finals of the Eastbourne International with victory over former French Open finalist Sara Errani.
Australia’s emerging star upset the 13th seed 6-1 5-7 6-2 on Wednesday to set up a big last-eight opportunity against unseeded American Sloane Stephens.
Unsuccessful in qualifying, Gavrilova only gained a last-minute entry to the main draw as a “lucky loser” when Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova withdrew on Sunday with a virus.
Dubbing herself a “very, very lucky ‘lucky loser’,” Gavrilova is now assured of a rise to inside the world’s top 40 in a huge confidence booster ahead of Wimbledon starting on Monday.
The 21-year-old will fancy her chances of going even deeper still in a top half of the draw featuring just one remaining seed.
Success over Stephens, who took out British No.1 Heather Watson, 6-2 6-3, would catapult Gavrilova into a semi-final with either Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.
Radwanska, the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up, scored an ominous 6-2 6-1 win over in-form Czech Karolina Pliskova, while Pironkova – the second-round conqueror of Samantha Stosur – eliminated Dominika Cibulkova 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-1.
Eyeing a second title on England’s south coast, second seed Caroline Wozniacki rallied for a 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-1 win over fellow former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Wozniacki will take on Andrea Petkovic in the quarter-finals after the 10th-seeded German defeated American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-4.
But 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard is facing a fitness battle ahead of the season’s third grand slam after suffering an event-ending abdominal strain.
Bouchard quit while trailing Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-4 3-0.
The Canadian’s prospects for repeating her charge to the final at the All England Club are looking exceedingly grim.
But Bouchard vowed: “I’m going to play (Wimbledon) no matter what, even if I’m on one leg”.
“I’ll take a few days off from serving and give it a little break and see how it goes.
“I was feeling it during the match. It just wasn’t smart for me to take a risk and potentially be out for a long time.”
Bouchard reached three grand slam semi-finals last year but has now lost 11 of her last 13 matches in a slump dating back to mid-March.
Bencic will now face Johanna Konta for a place in the last four after the British wildcard delighted home fans with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Spanish 14th seed Garbine Muguruza.