Dart on the rise – the British No.3 goes from strength to strength on grass
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Proving herself as one of the up-and-coming stars to watch on the tour - from her well-refined pinpoint accuracy to her dynamicity on court - Harriet Dart has reached all-new heights this grass court season.
The British No.3 achieved a career first after reaching her first ever WTA quarter-final at the Rothesay Open, closely followed by a straight-sets masterclass in Birmingham as she defeated the world No.61 - and former WTA 250 champion - Camila Osorio.
“To be able to get the win; to be in my first quarter-final, and at home, is crazy! I’m really happy,” announced Dart after overcoming the world No.26, Camila Giorgi.
Finishing last season ranked world No.124, Dart has reached all-new heights this year as she continues to climb up the rankings, proving the tennis world that she can live and compete amongst the best.
As her game continues to flourish and mature, we take a look back at some of the British No.3’s finest achievements as we hit the midway mark of the 2022 grass court season.
Opening the season with a handful of memorable performances against the likes of this year’s Rothesay Open champion Beatriz Haddad Maia, back-to-back Monterrey champion - and world No.15 - Leylah Fernandez, and top 30 player Liudmila Samsonova; Dart put herself in good stead ahead of the contest that is often deemed as the fifth Grand Slam – Indian Wells.
Having stormed through qualifying, the 25-year-old was about to make good use of the cards she was next dealt as she added three more top 100 wins to her collection. The Briton overcame the likes of former Nottingham Open champion - and the then world No.48 - Ana Konjuh, former world No.3 Elina Svitolina, and four-time tour level champion, Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi to march her way into the fourth round of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open.
Following her success at Indian Wells, Dart broke into the top 100 as she soared into the world No.99 position, whilst earning herself the well-deserved title of British No.2.
Rapidly acclimatizing to her role as British No.2, Harriet Dart also led the British charge alongside fellow Brit, Emma Raducanu, as she defeated rising star, Czech Linda Fruhvirtova, in a 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 victory to keep Great Britain in their qualifying tie against the Czech Republic.
With the British summer under way, and the grass prepared for play, the Hampstead-born star touched on her compatibility with the fast-paced surface.
“I’m a pretty flat, aggressive player so I feel that grass does suit me quite well,” Dart admitted. “It’s just different to other surfaces and some people prefer glass/prefer clay, so there are always some interesting results.
“I feel comfortable on the surface – especially being at home and having the home crowd – I think I feed off it.”
The Rothesay Open was her first grass court challenge as she went head-to-head with the likes of former two-time champion Donna Vekic, third seed Camila Giorgi, and the world No.35, and eventual finalist, Alison Riske. Despite shyly missing out on booking herself a spot in the last four, Dart achieved a career-best as she advanced to her first WTA quarter-final, supplying the 25-year-old with a great deal of confidence ahead of the Rothesay Classic, and the big grass finale, Wimbledon.
Onto the second where Dart was dealt with a tough draw yet again ahead of day one of the Rothesay Classic, but that wasn’t going to distract the Briton from producing some of her best tennis. Bringing variation and intelligence to the court, Dart fashioned a comfortable win against the world No.61 Camila Osorio after a blistering attack that left the Colombian helpless, leading her to a total of seven top 100 wins this season so far.