The East Sussex night was drawing in. Harriet Dart left it late (past 9pm) to seal the biggest win of her career–over world #62 Kristyna Pliskova in Eastbourne. A 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 justifies Dart’s wild-card for this event. It gives hope for a good showing at Wimbledon.
Harriet Dart Played a Patient Game
The London lass, currently world #181, showed a maturity and patience beyond her tender age of 21. She dug deep and kept the ball in play, allowing the Czech to make the errors. Eigh double faults from the Pliskova summed up her day, really. Dart seems to relish unsettling conditions, as she produced her best when an evening breeze started to set in.
Dart Earned her Wild Card
The breeze was nothing compared to the conditions she endured during another impressive victory at the Fuzion 100 Manchester, ITF event a few weeks ago. There she defeated world #94 Luksika Kumkhum in a run to the quarterfinals. Stormy, breezy conditions made concentration and focus hard to achieve. Yet Dart certainly did it best. There can be no doubt that Heather Dart was worthy of her wild card this week. Her patient game is suited grass and her versatility regarding conditions gives her an edge.
Sevastova Up Next for Harriet Dart
The reward for this impressive victory is a shot at the Latvian Eorld #21, Anastasija Sevastova. Not a natural grass court player, Sevastova has earned her lofty ranking through her clay and hard court prowess. That said, she made the final in Mallorca last week. Sevastova will surely enter this match as the firm favourite to win it. However, the crowd favourite will certainly be the amiable Brit, Harriet Dart.
That said, about Sevastova not being a natural on grass. The Latvian is an industrious player who knows her strengths. She will be sure to deploy her deft backhand topspin to good effect, trying to throw Harriet Dart off her rhythm. It’ll be a great learning experience for the Brit.
Main Photo Credit: Claire Baston