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Britain’s Harriet Dart progresses to second round of Wimbledon with victory over Rebeka Masarova

Harriet Dart secures impressive victory over Rebeka Masarova in straight sets to seal Britain’s best first round at Wimbledon since 1984… as she became the 10th Brit to progress

  • Harriet Dart overcame Rebeka Masarova of Spain with a 6-1, 6-4 victory
  • Dart became 10th British player through to second round with impressive win
  • After her victory Dart will take on eighth seed Jessica Pegula in second round 

Harriet Dart unleashed her A-game after two days of playing the waiting game.

The British No2 was the last of the home guard to start her first-round match after it was held over from Tuesday night. 

And when she finally got on to Court 12, she had to hang around for another six minutes until her Spanish opponent Rebeka Masarova turned up.

Harriet Dart beat Rebeka Masarova to make it through to the second round of Wimbledon

Despite Masarova's best efforts she was unable to get the better of Dark, who is ranked No 94

Despite Masarova’s best efforts she was unable to get the better of Dark, who is ranked No 94

‘It felt like an eternity,’ said the 25-year-old. ‘Once I got out there, I felt pretty good.’

She looked pretty good, too, winning 6-1, 6-4 and schooling her opponent in the art of grass-court tennis. That should come as no surprise: Dart’s mother is a member of the All England Club, so Harriet knows these lawns better than most.

The difference in comfort on the surface was obvious. The 6ft 1in Masarova was forever having to scoop shots off the turf, whereas Dart’s low centre of gravity allowed her to drive even the lowest ball back with interest. 

Dart opened up 4-0 leads in each set and, despite a wobble in the second, closed out the match to set up a daunting meeting with American No8 seed Jessica Pegula. Her victory made it 10 wins for British players in Wimbledon’s first round — the most since 1984.

Dart became 10th British player through to second round with an impressive victory

Dart became 10th British player through to second round with an impressive victory

Dart has reached the first two quarter-finals of her career in the last month. Her form has been part of a positive summer on the home front and she puts that down partly to a collegiate atmosphere between the players, the seeds of which were planted at the Battle of the Brits in 2020, a scratch event amid the gloom of Covid.

‘A lot of us were already quite close but during that event we really got to know people we didn’t know as well,’ said Dart.

‘It’s great — one person sees someone do well, then believes they can do well, too. British tennis is in a good place.’

Heather Watson failed to serve out her match against China’s Qiang Wang as the darkness closed in on Wednesday night and will resume on Thursday leading 7-5, 5-4.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk