Britain's Harriet Dart sets up dream Wimbledon clash with Ashleigh Barty
Wins for Harriet Dart, Johanna Konta and Dan Evans as Brits continue to impress at All England Club
Last Updated: 04/07/19 7:29pm
Harriet Dart reached the third round at Wimbledon for the first time on Thursday, and booked a meeting with world No 1 Ashleigh Barty.
After taking the first set on a tie-break, 22-year-old Dart looked in trouble when Brazilian Haddad Maia took the match into a decider.
But Haddad Maia needed extensive treatment on a hip problem and Dart reeled off five games in a row to run out a 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-1 winner and will next take on Barty in what will be the biggest match of her career.
"Super exciting. It's a great opportunity for me. I have nothing to lose," said Dart.
"I actually met her a few weeks ago at an LTA schools visit. Lovely girl, great champion. She won the French Open, and she won Birmingham.
"It's an exciting match for me. Just another great opportunity to get out there and do the best that I can."
The Australian made a real statement of intent with a demolition of Alison van Uytvanck.
Barty, chasing back-to-back Grand Slams following her French Open success last month, beat the Belgian 6-1 6-3 and now a showdown with Dart, probably on Centre Court, beckons on Saturday.
Barty said: "I haven't played with her before, and I haven't hit with her. So obviously it will be a little bit new for both of us.
"I wouldn't be playing a British crowd, I'm playing against Harriet.
"Yes, she'll get more support being in Britain, as I would if we were in Australia. It's no different."
Konta on a roll
Johanna Konta's bid for glory is gathering pace after a second straight-sets win.
The British No 1 joined fellow home hope Dart in round three following another confident display against Katerina Siniakova.
A 6-3 6-4 victory ensured Britain has two women in the third round for only the second time since Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs in 1986.
The 28-year-old will now face American Sloane Stephens, who she swept aside 6-4 6-1 in Paris, on Saturday.
Konta came out on top at the Italian Open and the French Open on clay and will now try to complete the hat-trick on grass, which should favour the British player.
"I think records don't necessarily mean a lot when you step out onto the court," said Konta. "I think Sloane is one of the best players in the world. She's a grand slam champion.
"Every time we step out onto the court, it's 50/50. It is a nice change playing her on the grass this time. We're kind of going through all the surfaces, which is fine."
Evans wins; Norrie out
British No 3 Dan Evans matched his best run at Wimbledon with a convincing straight-sets victory over 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Evans, who last reached round three in 2016, losing to Roger Federer, continued his fine form and prowess on grass to defeat the Georgian 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2).
He will face Portugal's Joao Sousa in the last 32 after he upset 13th seed and former finalist Marin Cilic 6-4 6-4 6-4.
"I just want to do well at this tournament," said Evans. "It was a goal to be in the main draw here. I did that. Obviously I missed out the last few years. To be into the third round is great for me."
Cameron Norrie endured a Centre Court debut to forget as he was beaten in straight sets by Kei Nishikori.
The British No 2 was playing on a show court at his home Grand Slam for the first time, but slipped to a 6-4 6-4 6-0 defeat.
Fed outclasses Clarke
Jay Clarke's dream was ended by his idol Roger Federer on Centre Court.
The 20-year-old earned the right to share Court One with the Swiss, a player who Clarke admitted he grew up trying to copy, after beating American qualifier Noah Rubin in the first round.
The Brit was outclassed in the first set and although he took Federer to a tie-break in the second, the eight-time Wimbledon champion closed out a 6-1 7-6 (3) 6-2 victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
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