United Cup: Great Britain secures victory over Australia
Harriet Dart claimed a straight-sets win to secure Great Britain's United Cup victory over Australia, but Maddison Inglis notes the positives from her team debut.
While Harriet Dart was a straight-sets winner in their United Cup meeting at Ken Rosewall Arena on Friday, it was a match that Maddison Inglis will never forget.
“It was so enjoyable and to have (Australian team captains) Lleyton (Hewitt) and Sam (Stosur) on the bench was crazy. You’re not going to have that every day,” said Inglis, who contested her first senior-level match while competing for Australia.
“I really, really tried to soak it up and it was honestly amazing. It’s a dream to play for Australia, so I just loved it out there.”
Driven by a crowd that the Perth-born Inglis described as “insane” an animated Inglis held her own for a period against the higher-ranked Dart.
Despite dropping the first set, after Dart secured her lone break point opportunity in the fifth game, the Australian maintained composure against the world No.98 Brit.
“You know, I don’t get the most pumped out there in my matches but today I was just feeding off it. It was amazing,” said Inglis, who fought back to level the second set from 1-3 down.
Further motivation came from the support of co-Australian captain Sam Stosur, who was Inglis’ childhood idol.
“Sam was so awesome to have on the sidelines,” said Inglis. “We were talking to each other during the match, she’s warming me up today and yesterday we hit.
“It’s really cool and you kind of forget who she is because she’s just such a nice person. She’s amazing.”
With her backhand particularly potent, Dart was ultimately too dominant as she hit 17 winners (compared to nine from Inglis) to secure a 6-4 6-4 win.
It extended Great Britain’s United Cup lead over Australia to 3-0, ensuring their overall victory in their best-of five matches tie.
On Thursday, Cameron Norrie defeated Alex de Minaur and Katie Swan was a winner over Zoe Hives.
Still, there were many positives for Inglis to take from her Team Australia debut.
“Unfortunately (I) came up short but whenever I put the green and gold on, I know I’ll give it my best,” she said.
Jason Kubler added to a memorable night at Ken Rosewall Arena as he claimed a morale-boosting win over Dan Evans.
The Australian No.2 trailed 0-5 in the second set but fuelled by support from Hewitt, De Minaur and other team-mates from the sidelines, he roared back to seize a 6-3 7-6(3) win.
“It’s tough to give up when you’ve got Rusty on the bench and Demon. They’ve got that never-say-die attitude,” the Queenslander later related on court.
“Any time I’m down, especially in front of these guys, I’ve just got to give it my all and luckily tonight I was able to turn it around. It’s not very often that you turn 5-0 around, so I’ll definitely remember this one.”
There was a further high for Australia when Sam Stosur and John Peers claimed a straight-sets win over Harriet Dart and Jonny O’Mara in the mixed doubles.
Aussies in action – United Cup
GREAT BRITAIN d AUSTRALIA 3-2
Cameron Norrie (GBR) d Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 6-3
Katie Swan (GBR) d Zoe Hives (AUS) 6-4 6-4
Harriet Dart (GBR) d Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-4 6-4
Jason Kubler (AUS ) d Dan Evans (GBR) 6-3 7-6(3)
Sam Stosur / John Peers (AUS) d Harriet Dart/Jonny O’Mara (GBR) 7-6(4) 6-4