A BRITISH women’s singles finalist is guaranteed in the Ilkley Trophy tomorrow.

The reason for that is that wild cards Sonay Kartal and Jodie Burrage, who have also been handed wild cards into the singles at Wimbledon, won their quarter-finals yesterday in gusty conditions and will meet in today’s semi-finals.

Brighton-based Kartal, who has won six ITF tournaments in eight months and 46 of her last 51 matches, defeated Switzerland’s Simona Waltert 6-2, 6-3, while Burrage saw off fourth seed Daria Snigur (Ukraine) by the same score.

Previously the best effort by a British woman in the Ilkley Trophy was Harriet Dart’s quarter-final appearance four years ago.

The superior fitness of 20-year-old Kartal is certainly benefitting her this week as fellow Briton Lily Miyazaki twisted a knee late on in their last-16 contest and was a passenger for the last game, while Waltert had treatment on an injured wrist towards the end of her quarter-final against the Sussex woman.

Kartal, who sensibly gave herself some margin for error in the wind and again showed her mental strength, said: “I think she struggled with a bad wrist. Conditions were really tricky. The wind picked up quite a lot during the match.

“I just tried to accept that I’m not going to play my best tennis in this kind of weather and just tried to stick with it for the whole match, keep a level head in the pressure-filled moments and accept that there are going to be some awkward shots played.

“Also my fitness has come a long way in the last two years. I am a lot stronger on the court and not being the tallest means that I have to find another way to win.”

Kartal found out about her Wimbledon wild card two hours before her first-round match at Ilkley, and admitted: “It was something that was in the back of my head that I knew that I had a shot, but I didn’t know whether that was for the main draw or the qualifying.

“It has been a dream of mine to play there, and it is good that I have managed to stay injury free, which is a big thing, but I am not really looking ahead, although I would love to finish the year inside the world’s top 150.”

Burrage, 23, like Kartal, is adopting a one-match-at-a-time approach, and used her serve and groundstrokes to over-power Snigur in a way that 17-year-old Briton Ranah Stoiber couldn’t in the previous round.

Surbiton Trophy semi-finalist Burrage admitted: “For the last few weeks I’ve just been thinking about each match as it comes, really not trying to think about it too much.

“I’m just focusing on the next match and getting the job done.”

Kartal and Burrage have met once before, with Kartal winning 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals of a $25,000 ITF Women’s World Tour event in Glasgow in February - a tournament that Kartal won.

The other semi-final is between top seed Dalma Galfi (Hungary) and third seed Katie Volynets (United States), so at least the world rankings mean something in this $100,000 ITF Women’s World Tour event.

Galfi came through a tough match 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-4 against qualifier Mandy Minella (Luxembourg), while Volynets defeated Poland’s Maja Chwalinska 6-1, 7-5.

In the $125,000 ATP Challenger Tour event that is running alongside the women at Ilkley, the semi-finals are between qualifier Zizou Bergs (Belgium) and lucky loser Alexei Popyrin (Australia), and fifth seed Jack Sock (United States) and France’s unseeded Constant Lestienne.

Sock won a bruising quarter-final against second seed Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic) 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) in 2hr 10min, while Lestienne was trailing 6-4, 2-6, 2-3 in the final set when countryman Pierre Hugues Herbert injured a knee when hitting a winning forehand off a drop shot.

Bergs defeated experienced Italian Andreas Seppi 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, while Popyrin beat talented Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer 6-0, 7-5.

Sock confessed about his match: “That was interesting for sure. Really tricky conditions. The wind is pretty crazy. I think this valley makes it very tricky.

“(The wind) is moving all over and then you’re playing a guy who can take the racket out of your hand.

“I don’t think I’ve ever got aced that much in my life (Vesely hit 30 aces to Sock’s 12) so he’s an incredible server, he’s a great grass court player so I knew it was gonna be tough.”

With a wild card British doubles pair involved in each of the semi-finals, home interest was virtually guaranteed in today’s finals, and in the end two came through.

The Yorkshire-Scottish combination of Naiktha Bains, of Shadwell, Leeds, and Glaswegian Maia Lumsden put out second seeds Estelle Cascino and Jessika Ponchet (France) 7-5, 6-1, but Kartal and Nell Miller lost 7-5, 6-4 to Lizette Cabrera (Australia) and Su Jeong Jang (South Korea).

It is the first final for Bains and Lumsden at $100,000 level.

In the men’s doubles, Julian Cash and Henry Patten put out top seeds Fabrice Martin (France) and Hugo Nys (Monaco) 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 10-5, but Luke Johnson, of Roundhay, and Scotland’s Aidan McHugh were beaten 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) by Ramkumar Ramanathan (India) and John-Patrick (JP) Smith (Australia) in contests that were interrupted by evening rain.

Cash and Patten were runners-up last week at the Nottingham Open ATP Challenger tournament and have now reached three finals at this level in as many weeks.