Heather Watson’s excellent run at the Hobart International came to an end at the semi-final stage, while Harriet Dart made it through qualifying at the Australian Open.

Watson began her campaign in qualifying and produced her best victory for two-and-a-half years by beating top seed Elise Mertens in the last eight.

She gave Kazakh Rybakina a real battle as well but came up just short, losing 6-3 4-6 6-4 after two hours and 16 minutes.

Australian Open 2020: Women’s DrawAustralian Open 2020: Men’s Draw

The run will see Watson climb from 101 in the rankings to 75 and she will head to Melbourne, where she faces Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, in good spirits.

Harriet Dart comes through qualifying at the Australian Open Harriet Dart comes through qualifying at the Australian Open Harriet Dart comes through qualifying at the Australian Open

Dart, the British No 3, ranked 169, completed a fine qualifying campaign by beating Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-1 6-3.

Dart, who also qualified at the US Open last summer, will now hope to avoid the same fate as 12 months ago, when she was beaten 6-0 6-0 by Maria Sharapova in the first round.