Harriet Dart is relishing taking on 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina after battling through a marathon first-round encounter at the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne.

The 27-year-old was 4-1 down in the first two sets but hit back to earn a nail-biting 7-5 6-7(7) 6-4 victory over three-and-a-half hours on the south coast.

She now faces a battle with top seed Rybakina, ranked fourth in the world, with a quarter-final spot at stake.

She said: “It was an incredible match with some ups and downs and the court is fresh and different to the courts I’ve practised on.

“Marie is an incredible fighter and always makes it very tough. I’m a bit surprised that these long matches are coming on grass but I’m very happy that it turned my way this time.

“It’s so amazing that every time I come back here it’s a full crowd, it’s so awesome and the atmosphere is amazing. They really helped me bring it back.

“Elena is an incredible champion and she’s a really hard ball-striker, so hopefully we can have a fun match.”

Dart fell just short of the quarter-finals at the Rothesay Classic Birmingham last week, losing out to 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the last 16, while she was beaten by compatriot Katie Boulter at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham.

British number two Dart had her Wimbledon berth confirmed last week and will enter the main draw in singles, as well as doubles alongside last year’s quarter-finalist Maia Lumsden.

She has been no stranger to long matches this summer and was pleased to come out of her latest epic on the right side of the result.

She said: “A couple of weeks ago it didn’t go my way and I was really determined to try and get it back at this one.

“Of course, sometimes things play on your mind but I wanted to do things a little bit differently today and learn from my mistakes.

“I’d love to say there were some tactics but I have to say it was less thinking.

“I overthink massively and when I just play on instinct, I play much better, Marie always makes it really difficult for you so I knew I had to work really hard to win the match.”

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