Dan Evans and Harriet Dart one win from Australian Open main draw but James Ward suffers defeat
British duo will aim to make it eight players through to main draw
Last Updated: 10/01/19 10:00am
Dan Evans and Harriet Dart are both one win away from reaching the Australian Open main draw but James Ward’s qualifying bid has ended in Melbourne.
Evans, playing at Melbourne Park for the first time in two years following his drugs ban, produced a battling performance to defeat Jurij Rodionov 6-4 3-6 7-5, before Ward lost to Marco Trungelliti 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the second round of qualifying.
Dart had earlier overcome Xu Shilin in confident fashion 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 as the 22-year-old moved a step closer to reaching a Grand Slam singles main draw for the first time by her own right.
World No 190 Evans, who reached the fourth round in 2017, impressed as he won the first set against his Austrian opponent, including winning a point with a spectacular shot played behind his back, but he lost his serve early in the second set as the match went the distance.
Evans failed to serve out the contest at 5-4 in the third set, before withstanding pressure to hold his next service game, and the 28-year-old eventually sealed victory on his fourth match point, bringing up a match against Paolo Lorenzi.
Dart continued her encouraging early-season form as she recovered from a break down in the opening set to win it on a tie-break.
The Brit, named in Great Britain's Fed Cup team for the first time earlier this week, eased through the second set to defeat her Chinese opponent and set up a meeting against Ivana Jorovic.
However, James Ward failed to make it a trio of British players in the final round of qualifying as he was unable to produce a second successive come-from-behind victory.
Evans and Dart will aim to make it eight British players through to the main draw and join Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund, Cameron Norrie, Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter.