Indian Wells news: Harriet Dart expels Gasanova to progress to the main draw

WTA Harriet Dart Indian Wells

Great Britain’s Harriet Dart has downed Anastasia Gasanova, competing as a neutral, to progress to the main draw of the Indians Wells Masters.

Dart will face Croatia’s Ana Konjuh in the round of 128 at the WTA 1000 level event after a 6-2,-3-6, 6-3 win over the Russian in the final qualifying round on Wednesday.

It is the first time since the Australian Open that Dart has qualified for the main draw at a WTA Tour level event. The British prospect is 7-6 in singles this season.

She completes a quartet of British women in the first round at Indian Wells led by 11th seeded US Open Champion Emma Raducanu.

Raducanu will enjoy a bye into the second round, but Dart, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter will be in action on Thursday (Dart’s match is set to start at 22:55 GMT on Wednesday 9 March).

Watson faces World no 42 Tereza Martincova in a tough first round draw for the 113th ranked Briton. She will be aiming to avoid another first round exit having been knocked out at this stage in the 2021 event in October, going down to American Sloane Stephens.

Boulter, ranked 127th in women’s singles heading into Indian Wells, faces World no 46 Jasmine Paolini of Italy in a later match. She earned an upset win over Konjah at last month’s Lyon Open, but had to retire from her second round match against Anna Bondar.

It is hoped that Radacanu will have recovered from the hip injury that forced her to withdraw in Guadalajara and miss the Monterrey Open.

“Sorry to go out this way, I was loving Mexico and excited to see you in Monterrey,” she said at the time.

“However, due to the small left leg injury sustained during my last match we decided it was best to postpone my return to competition in order to recover as well as possible.”

Radacanu will make a last-minute decision on her participation at the dual WTA and ATP Tour event. She has flown into California, but indications are that she might still pull out.