Dart off to flying start at LTA’s Rothesay Classic

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Harriet Dart of Great Britain interacts with fans after winning their Women's Singles First Round match against Camila Osorio of Colombia during on Day Three of the Rothesay Classic Birmingham.
Harriet Dart of Great Britain interacts with fans after winning their Women's Singles First Round match against Camila Osorio of Colombia during on Day Three of the Rothesay Classic Birmingham.

Harriet Dart got her campaign at the LTA’s Rothesay Classic Birmingham off to a flying start on Monday with a dominant victory against Colombia’s Camila Osorio, writes Oli Dickson Jefford. 

Dart, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme – the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 – secured a comfortable 6-2 6-0 win in just an hour and eight minutes over the world No.61, an opponent 45 spots above her in the rankings.

Having never won a match at the tournament previously, the 26-year-old was thrilled to get off the mark and build on her successful run to the last eight at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham last week.

Dart commented: “I think it’s my first main draw win here, so I’m super happy to be through and continue my momentum from last week.

“Last year I lost 6-4 in the third in a really tough match against [Caroline] Garcia, so to get over the line this time, especially on Centre Court, is great and just being able to continue the momentum from last week is super important. It’s important to get more and more matches before Wimbledon.

“There are lots of steps I’ve done this year and lots of new things I’ve been able to tick off which have been exciting. I constantly expect more from myself and last week was great, but this week’s a new week and I want to try and continue to do the same.

“Naturally I put a lot of pressure on myself, let alone from anyone else. By having a few good results this year, I feel like I automatically expect more from myself. For me it’s just taking each match as I can and really try and stay in the present moment. I feel like I did that really well today.”

The Londoner faces another step up in her second round match on Wednesday, where she’ll face second seed and two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep.

Dart has previously played against the Romanian on hard courts - a 6-2 6-4 loss at the Australian Open in 2020 - though believes she is more comfortable playing on grass.

“As soon as the French Open’s finished we perhaps do get the advantage of practising on it a little bit more. Obviously it’s very different and being in England with the crowd, I think that helps us a lot more,” Dart said.

“I’m a pretty flat, aggressive player so I feel grass does suit me quite well. It’s just different in comparison to other surfaces.

“Some people prefer grass, some people prefer clay, so there’s always some interesting results, but I feel comfortable on this surface and being at home and having a home crowd, I really feed off that.”

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

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