Johanna Konta and Dan Evans ready to move out of Andy Murray’s shadow

• Konta set to face American Sloane Stephens
• Harriet Dart plays world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in third round

The return of Andy Murray five months after hip-resurfacing surgery has had a huge impact on Wimbledon, with television clamouring to get him on at the ideal time and his mixed doubles partnership with Serena Williams capturing much attention, even of Roger Federer.

Through no fault of his own, Murray’s presence has slightly overshadowed the performance of three other British players, all of whom will take their places in the third round on Saturday. Johanna Konta and Dan Evans would have backed themselves to still be in the draw at this stage but this is uncharted territory for Harriet Dart, who has come a long way since she was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Maria Sharapova in the first round of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Until this week, she had never won a grand-slam match but her two wins have already secured her a hefty pay-day of £110,000, which equates to more than a third of her career earnings to date. Her ranking is set to climb from 182 to inside the top 140 and a place in the top 100 is within her sights.

Her task in the third round is the toughest of the trio, because she plays Ash Barty, the world No 1, who is on a 14-match winning streak having followed up her first grand-slam title at the French Open last month by winning the grass-court event in Birmingham just before Wimbledon. But though victory would represent a massive shock, the 22-year-old is playing pressure-free, having already achieved more than she would have expected. “It’s an incredible opportunity for me,” Dart told the Wimbledon Channel radio. “It’s great to be on home turf and it’s good to see what stage I am at in my career.”

Having opened up with a fine win over the American Christina McHale, Dart then saw off Beatriz Haddad Maia, the Brazilian who had knocked out the former champion, Garbiñe Muguruza in the previous round. She has even had a regal presence, with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, watching her in the first round.

Konta and Evans continue to impress. Having rediscovered top form at the French Open, where she reached the semi-finals, Konta has looked rock-solid in her first two rounds, serving superbly and playing with plenty of confidence. Seeded 19, she plays the ninth-seeded American Sloane Stephens, a tough task on paper but having beaten her in all three of their meetings, all this year, including in Paris, Konta will fancy her chances, even if she will not say so in public.

“She’s an incredibly good player,” Konta said. “I think for me to have won our three encounters so far, there’s very little in that. Because every time we step out on to the court, it’s 50-50. I’m looking forward to playing her again. I like playing really great players. I like playing big matches like that.”

Evans was unusually emotional after his outstanding win over the 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in round two, admitting he wants success so much more than he did in the early stages of his career. Victory over João Sousa of Portugal, a surprise winner over the former runner-up Marin Cilic, would put him back inside the top 50, having being unranked when he returned to the Tour in April 2018, after serving a one-year ban for taking cocaine.

“It’s more that I believe I can do better now than before,” said Evans, who has been practising with Federer this week.

“I was just playing tennis. I probably didn’t know the magnitude of winning matches in grand slams. It’s a big deal to be winning matches in the best tournaments in the world, especially here at Wimbledon, at your home slam, with so much tradition at the tournament. I want to go as far as I can here.”


Simon Cambers at Wimbledon

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