Best shots as GB’s Dart beats Haddad Maia to reach third round
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Britons Johanna Konta, Harriet Dart and Dan Evans sealed contrasting victories to reach the Wimbledon third round.

Konta needed one hour 12 minutes to beat the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-4.

Dart, 22, battled to a 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-1 win over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia to set up an encounter with world number one Ashleigh Barty.

Evans, meanwhile, impressed in a dominant display to oust 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

But British number two Cameron Norrie lost 6-4 6-4 6-0 to Japanese world number seven Kei Nishikori.

And British wildcard Jay Clarke was beaten 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

Konta outclasses Siniakova

Konta, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago, looked comfortable as she breezed through the first set on Centre Court, breaking Siniakova on her second service game.

Siniakova, who won the women’s doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the French Open in 2018, managed to hold her serve for the remainder of the set but the damage was already done as Konta served out the set to love.

The start to the second set was peppered with rare unforced errors from 28-year-old Konta, but she was able to regain her composure to serve out the match.

She will play American Sloane Stephens in the third round.

“I played a very tough opponent so I was really pleased to be able hold serve the way I did,” Konta told BBC TV.

“In general, I thought I served quite well which definitely helped me because she is very tricky. I knew at any point she could gain momentum.

“I’m pleased to come through that and really enjoyed my time on Centre Court.”

Dart holds nerve to advance

World number 121 Dart knew she would be pushed all the way by Haddad Maia, who had stunned 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza in the first round.

But the Briton made the perfect start, breaking the Brazilian in the first game and holding on until she was two points from taking the first set at 5-4 on Haddad Maia’s serve.

But she let the chance slip with a long forehand and wide backhand and was then broken in the next game before finding her range again with a backhand down the line that took the set into a tie-break, which was handed to her by a forehand mistake from the Brazilian qualifier.

Dart, who had never won back-to-back tour-level matches, found herself an early break down in the second and from then on frustration crept in, with the Briton bashing the grass and her shoes with her racquet and muttering to herself stony-faced as it ran away from her.

But she regrouped to break for 2-1 in the third and had time to gather her thoughts when Haddad Maia called on the physio for treatment on her leg.

She won the next four games in a row, with the Brazilian moving awkwardly, and sealed victory on her second match point when Haddad Maia netted a forehand after two hours and 25 minutes.

“I think mentally I’m improving all the time,” Dart said. “I think I’m a very fiery type of competitor. I think that definitely shows. I’m such a fighter. I think sometimes my emotions might get the better of me as you probably saw from parts of the match today.

“I think it’s really important that I regrouped and I was able to come out on top.

“I’m just so happy to win and so relieved all at the same time.”

Evans makes it look easy

Dan Evans has matched his best Wimbledon showing, having also reached round three in 2016

Evans has enjoyed a successful grass-court season in the run-up to Wimbledon, winning titles at Surbiton and Nottingham, and has played with confidence here.

The world number 61 has yet to drop a set and was never in danger of doing so against Georgia’s Basilashvili, who is at a career-high ranking of 16.

The Georgian was let down by 48 unforced errors, which allowed Evans to make his victory look even easier.

The Briton squandered two match points on Basilashvili’s serve at 5-2 and and one in both of the next two games before finally taking the match at the fifth time of asking with an unreturned serve in the tie-break.

The victory put an emotional Evans the furthest he has been in a Grand Slam tournament since returning in April 2018 from a one-year ban after testing positive for cocaine.

“I was pretty nervous it means so much to get through,” Evans, who was close to tears, told BBC television. “I just want to win big matches at Grand Slams, that’s what I really enjoy.”

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