Harriet Dart

Harriet Dart believes improvement is close after Wimbledon loss

Harriet Dart believes she is close to making game-changing progress after a hard-fought loss in her opening round singles match at Wimbledon.

Hampstead player Dart, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, was handed an intriguing first round contest versus France’s Diane Parry.

World No.96 Parry – whose old-school tennis is well-suited to the lawns of SW19 – caused early problems for the Brit, though Dart battled from a double break down to take the opener in a tie-break.

But the Frenchwoman remained undeterred despite losing the opening set and delivered a hugely impressive response, not dropping a game to force a decider out on Court 12.

Dart was ultimately unable to turn the contest back around in her favour, Parry breaking in the final game to prevail 6-7(4) 6-0 6-4.

“I didn’t feel like I really ever got going,” said Dart.

“I thought she started to up her level a bit in the second set and made it difficult for me, but I still felt like my level was pretty poor today.

“I’ve had a really good grass court season. It’s just disappointing that my worst match of the grass court season came here. Naturally being British, you want to play well here.

“What’s amazing was I had a chance to win playing not great tennis. I still feel like I have so much to improve on.

“She also made it tricky for me. Credit to her, she played better tennis than me today.”

Dart’s Wimbledon campaign is not over quite yet, having received a wildcard into the women’s doubles alongside fellow Brit Heather Watson.

But after Wimbledon, a run of events will give her the chance to make the improvements she has recognised – with a US Open campaign coming up at the end of the summer.

She added: “I know there’s a couple tournaments now in Europe – that requires less travel, which is great. I think there’s a tournament in Warsaw, a tournament in Prague on hard courts. I plan to play there, then head out to the US a bit later.

“Last year, like, I played every week for six weeks. I felt really burnt out, whereas I’ll be able to play two or three weeks in Europe, practice at home for a week or two, then be able to go to the States.”

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

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