Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Harriet Dart keeps GB hopes alive after Emma Raducanu fights blister in defeat

Emma Raducanu was hampered by another physical issue in defeat by Marketa Vondrousova (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Emma Raducanu was hampered by another physical issue in defeat by Marketa Vondrousova (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Emma Raducanu struggled with a blister in a one-sided loss to Marketa Vondrousova but Harriet Dart rode to Great Britain’s rescue to set up a deciding doubles rubber in their Billie Jean King Cup clash with the Czech Republic in Prague.

Raducanu marked her debut in the competition on Friday by beating Tereza Martincova in her first professional match on clay but lost 6-1 6-1 to former French Open finalist Vondrousova in only 62 minutes.

That put the Czechs within sight of victory in the play-off but captain Petr Pala’s decision to throw 16-year-old rookie Linda Fruhvirtova backfired when she was beaten 6-0 5-7 6-2 by Dart.

Fruhvirtova is a huge talent who recently reached the fourth round in Miami but, with three top-80 players sat in the stands, this was a very bold call.

Dart looked to be cruising to victory at 6-0 5-2 up and held two match points in the next game but she wobbled badly before rallying in the decider to claim her first singles win in the competition.

The thermometer read just six degrees on Saturday morning, extremely cold for an outdoor tennis match, and it became clear when Raducanu took a medical timeout at the end of the first set that she was struggling with a blister on her right foot.

She barely moved for several balls in the second set, wincing and limping her way to the finish line.

Raducanu said of the blister: “It kind of showed up after yesterday’s match. We’ve been managing it but as you saw I couldn’t really move or load either way and now it’s just about trying to get it better as soon as possible.

“It was compromising every shot I had to play. It’s very disappointing when you’re out there playing a rubber for your country and you feel completely redundant.”

Raducanu’s win over Martincova was undoubtedly impressive but this was a different level of challenge against a true clay-court exponent, who thrashed Dart 6-1 6-0 on Friday.

The US Open champion wore leggings and a long-sleeve top to try to keep warm while hats and blankets were the order of the day for the crowd and support staff at the Cesky Lawn Tennis Klub.

Like Dart before her, Raducanu failed to hold serve throughout the match against Vondrousova, who will be a player to look out for at Roland Garros later in the spring.

Raducanu now faces a race against time to be fit for next week’s WTA Tour event in Stuttgart as she contemplates yet another physical issue.

Having begun the season playing catch-up after contracting coronavirus, Raducanu struggled with a blister on her hand at the Australian Open, pulled out during a match in Mexico with a thigh problem and was hampered by a stiff back in Indian Wells.

She said: “I’ve had a few blisters on my feet before. I think it’s related to numerous things. I’m going to need to go and evaluate all my options. This has happened quite a few times now and we need to nip it in the bud.

“Of course it’s frustrating but in some sort of twisted way it gives me a sense of confidence and relief that I don’t think it’s my tennis that’s the issue.

“I think my tennis level is pretty good it’s just about being able to repeat it or maintain it and not be hampered by any sort of physical issues.

“As soon as I sort all of these out and keep building on my tennis level then I think I’ll be able to put out good matches back to back.”