Wimbledon wildcard – Harriet Dart profile: A closer look at the British youngster

James Martin
The Independent

Harriet Dart will feature in the main draw at Wimbledon for the second year running after receiving a wildcard.

This will be the 22-year-old’s second Grand Slam event of the year, having gone all the way through qualifying at the Australian Open to reach the main draw. She suffered a 6-0 6-0 defeat to Maria Sharapova at this stage, but will be hoping to put up more of a fight in her home slam.

Dart, ranked 157th in the world, can draw a degree of confidence from her grass court preparations.

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She triumphed over Vera Lapko – ranked over 50 places higher – when the pair clashed in the Nottingham Open. The Briton then took the first set against world number 47 Ajla Tomljanovic, before ultimately falling to a three-set defeat.

Dart had a tougher time at the Birmingham Classic, losing in straight sets to 43-ranked Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan, but she gained invaluable experience from playing doubles with veteran pro Venus Williams. The pair lost 10-7 in a tiebreak in their first-round match.

Best Wimbledon finish: Round of 128, 2018 (Three-set defeat to Czech Karolina Pliskova).

Grand Slam best: Harriet Dart has never progressed further than the first round of a slam. Her defeat to Pliskova last year is duly her joint-best record in Grand Slam events, alongside her loss to Sharapova in Australia earlier this year.

Highest ranking: Dart peaked at 121 in the world, a ranking achieved shortly after her impressive progress through the Australian Open qualifying rounds.

Current Ranking: 157

Age: 22

How did she perform last year? A close defeat to current world No 3 Pliskova was highly respectable, but by no means tells the whole story of Dart’s 2018 at Wimbledon.

By far her biggest success came in the mixed doubles alongside another recipient of this year’s wildcard, Jay Clarke. The pair overcame the tournament’s top seeds in straight sets having got through the first two rounds, and ultimately went all the way to the semi-finals. It was ultimately doubles specialist Jamie Murray and his partner Victoria Azarenka who halted their progress.

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