Transylvania Open: Harriet Dart into quarter-finals and heading back into WTA top 100

Harriet Dart serves at the Transylvania Open
Harriet Dart will join fellow British players Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage in the world's top 100

Harriet Dart is set to return to the world's top 100 after she defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the Transylvania Open quarter-finals.

The British number three fought back from a set down to clinch a 5-7 7-5 6-3 victory over the fifth seed in Cluj.

Dart, who came through qualifying for the WTA Tour event, entered the week in 103rd spot but will move up after a slide down the rankings last year.

The 27-year-old faces unseeded Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the last eight.

Dart's victory over Cocciaretto in Romania was the fifth time she had made the last eight of a WTA Tour event.

However, it was first time she had done so away from British grass, with her last such run coming in Birmingham last summer.

Dart had looked in trouble against the 23-year-old Italian when she was unable to take three set points at 5-4 in the opener, and then lost six games in a row.

But she managed to claw her way back into the second set before she took her chances in the decider despite an injury timeout to treat a neck problem.

"I had some set points in the first set, wasn't able to convert, but I thought she played good on the big points," Dart said after her win over the world number 56.

"It's such small margins in tennis. There's always a chance and you just have to keep fighting. I got a small bit of a chance and I was able to take it.

"I'm just trying to build on each match. It's been great to get lots of matches through the qualifying here, get used to the [hardcourt] surface."

Fellow Briton Heather Watson's run at the Abu Dhabi Open came to an end in the last 16 against Spanish lucky loser Cristina Bucsa.

Watson, who sealed an impressive win over world number 16 Veronika Kudermetova in the previous round, was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.

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