United Cup: Harriet Dart leads Britain to victory against Australia

"Maddy played really great tennis today and I had to work for it.First match of the year, I was really nervous, but the crowd was great," Dart was quoted as saying by WTA.
Harriet Dart
Harriet Dart

SYDNEY: Harriet Dart defeated Maddison Inglis 6-4, 6-4 to lead Britain to victory over Australia at the United Cup, here on Friday.

With this win, Team Britain will move to the top of Group D and prepare to face Spain next.

Britain came into Day 2 with a 2-0 lead over the host nation after Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan posted straight-set wins on the opening day. Ranked No.98 and playing in the No.1 position for Britain, Dart seized her chance to clinch the tie by winning the coveted third point to build an unassailable 3-0 lead.

"Maddy played really great tennis today and I had to work for it.First match of the year, I was really nervous, but the crowd was great," Dart was quoted as saying by WTA.

No.180 Inglis was a late substitution in singles after Australian No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic withdrew from the match due to a left knee injury. With Captain Sam Stosur urging her on, the 24-year-old from Perth acquitted herself well and, after a slow start, consistently challenged Dart from the baseline.

But Dart held her ground with clutch serving and a devastating day on her forehand. The 26-year-old Brit won 83 per cent of her first serve points and was broken just once in the match. On her first match point, Dart fired her fifth ace of the match to take it after 92 minutes.

In the next match, Jason Kubler brought joy to Australian fans when he staged a remarkable second-set comeback to upset World No.27 Daniel Evans 6-3, 7-6(3), earning his nation its first win at the mixed-teams event.

In front of a raucous crowd on the Ken Rosewall Arena, Kubler stole the show, showcasing an abundance of quality and grit to fight past Evans in one hour and 51 minutes. The World No. 107 fired 11 aces and rallied from 0-5 in the second set, saving one set point at 4-5, before eventually sealing his victory in the tie-break.

The final match of the tie will be a mixed-doubles clash between Team Australia's Samantha Stosur and John Peers and Team Britain's Harriet Dart and Daniel Evans.

Notably, the United Cup is a new mixed-teams event featuring 18 countries across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Played over two days, ties will consist of two ATP and two WTA singles matches and one mixed-doubles match.

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