Dart and Burrage secure big wins at Eastbourne

Harriet Dart battled her way to the third round of the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne with a determined victory over Shuai Zhang.

Dart bounced back from a deflating concession in the second set when serving for the match to win 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-1 to reach the last 16.

“That was quite a roller-coaster,” she said.

“I wasn’t just playing my opponent, I was playing myself as well at times which was a disaster.

“The conditions were really tough, the wind was going everywhere. It took me a while to adapt but I’m really happy to get through.

“It wasn’t easy but I kept trying to tell myself to keep going after it and if she plays too good tennis then that’s too good. I’m really happy I was able to close it in the end.”

Jodie Burrage also scored an excellent victory over a much higher ranked opponent, as she toppled the USA’s Lauren Davis 4-6 6-4 6-3.

“I really want to get going earlier in matches so I don’t have to keep coming back from a set down,” she said.

“I keep fighting and putting myself out there. My mentality is what got me through today, the conditions were not easy and the sun went as well so it was quite cold and slow and not easy.

“But I’m very happy to get through as I’ve lost a lot of those matches in the last few years as mentally I’ve not been good enough.”

In the men’s draw, Ryan Peniston’s tournament came to an end as he went down 6-3 6-2 to Swiss star Marc-Andrea Huesler but is still upbeat ahead of Wimbledon.

“It’s a tough defeat to take and it was a tough day at the office for me really,” said Peniston.

“Marc played well and didn’t give me many chances at all but I have to look forward to Wimbledon now and I can’t dwell on this.”

George Loffhagen almost defied an almost 300-place rankings gap as he lost a nearly three-hour battle 2-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) to world No. 79 Luca van Assche.

The men’s doubles saw Liam Broady and Jonny O’Mara edge an all-British battle against Julian Cash and Luke Johnson 6-4 7-6(6).

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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