Dart plugging all ambition into all-British Wimbledon second round

Harriet Dart is determined to brush last year’s Wimbledon ‘heartbreak’ aside as she plugs all her ambition into an all-British second-round Wimbledon clash with Katie Boulter.

Dart dropped out of the draw in the first round to France’s Diane Parry last year and has already gone one better in 2024, demonstrating her improvement with a simple straight-sets victory on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old cruised through her opener at the All England Club, pushing past Zhuoxuan Bai with ease, breaking the top 100 Chinese talent four times to bolt her way through on Court 18 with a 6-4 6-0 win.

And, following British No. 1 Boulter’s victory over Tatjana Maria, an eye-catching affair awaits between the pair who shared a marathon meeting at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham last month.
Boulter got the better of Dart in that clash in three sets and Dart knows it will be no easy feat when they do battle on Thursday.

Dart said: “We had a really tough battle the last time in Nottingham, she’s playing incredibly well.

“Whoever it’s going to be, you’re playing second round of a Grand Slam, it’s going to be incredibly tough, I look forward to the opportunity.

“It’s always going to be tricky, whoever I play, especially when you play a fellow Brit.

“But it’s great to see that all of us are doing well and putting us in positions where we do get to play each other, hopefully more so in the latter rounds.

“I’m not seeded, so I always knew I’m going to play a seeded player at some point, she’s been having an amazing year.”

In the weeks leading up to Wimbledon, lengthy affairs on court have become characteristic of Dart’s grass-court season.

The Brit overcame top 50 player Marie Bouzkova at the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne last week across more than two and a half hours.

She last went on to make the third round of Wimbledon in 2019 and insists she has entered the Grand Slam this year a much better player.

She said: “I have nothing to lose, that’s for sure. For me, a big goal was just trying to get through round one. “Last year was I would say heart-breaking for me, but also put me in a place where I had to dig deep towards the end of the year.

“I always think things happen for a reason. They definitely did. This year, I’m very much focusing much more on the process, how if I can play some good tennis.

“By putting good tennis out there, I can give myself the best opportunity to play well, to put myself in a position to win matches. That’s kind of all I can do.”

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

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