Dart beats Bouzkova to progress at Eastbourne

Britain's Harriet Dart overcame Marie Bouzkova in a topsy-turvy match to progress to the second round at Eastbourne.

Roared on by a partisan home crowd, Dart fought back from a double break down in both the first and second sets before wrapping up a 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 victory in nearly three and a half hours.

It is Dart's best win of the year by ranking, with the 27-year-old wildcard ranked 68 places below Czech Bouzkova.

She had been due to face former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina next but the world number four - who had a first-round bye - withdrew from the tournament on Monday night.

Instead, Dart will play American lucky loser Sofia Kenin in the second round on Wednesday.

"It was an incredible match, so many ups and downs," said Dart, who revealed she was struggling with wisdom tooth pain throughout her match against Bouzkova.

"Marie's an incredible fighter and always makes it tough. I'm very happy that it turned my way this time."

With the hot sun beaming down on Eastbourne's centre court, it looked like it would be a difficult afternoon for Dart after falling a double break down early on.

But the British number two rallied to level the set at 4-4 before breaking again to snatch the opener.

Again, Dart found herself trailing 4-1 in the second set before launching another comeback as Bouzkova, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2022, faltered once more.

The world number 37 held sufficiently firm to force a tie-break, and while Dart saved three set points, a wayward forehand handed Bouzkova the set.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the decider before Dart broke again, an advantage she would never relinquish as she served out the match at the first opportunity.

"There have been some really tight matches that haven't gone my way, and so to be able to win this match really means a lot," she said.

Dart is one of four British players in the women's singles draw at Eastbourne this week, with Katie Boulter, Emma Raducanu and Lily Miyazaki in action on Tuesday.

Elsewhere on Monday, Latvian fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Greet Minnen of Belgium 7-6 (7-3) 6-1, while Poland's Magda Linette knocked out Russian eighth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Harriet Dart
Dart is ranked 105th in the world [Getty Images]

Harris beats fellow British wildcard Fearnley

Earlier, Billy Harris moved past fellow British wildcard Jacob Fearnley with a 6-4 7-6 (9-7) victory.

It continues a positive grass-court season for the 29-year-old, who moved inside the world's top 150 after reaching his first ATP Tour quarter-final last week at Queen's Club.

He was due to face the newly crowned Queen's champion Tommy Paul next, but the American second seed, who received a bye in the first round, has withdrawn because of fatigue.

Instead, Harris will face compatriot and lucky loser Charles Broom for a place in the quarter-finals.

"It's been an amazing last few weeks so hopefully I can keep it going here and on to Wimbledon," Harris said.

He and Fearnley will make their Grand Slam debuts this summer after they received wildcards for the main draw at Wimbledon, which starts on 1 July.

In the men's doubles, Britain's Lloyd Glasspool and Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer beat Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 17-15.

British number two Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady start their singles campaigns at Eastbourne on Tuesday.