By Ros Satar

  • Harriet Dart comes through qualifying to join Katie Boulter and Katie Swan in the Citi Open main draw
  • Katie Boulter v Aleksandra Krunic [5]
  • Katie Swan [WC} v Zheng Saisai
  • Harriet Dart [Q] v Belinda Bencic [6]
WASHNGTON, USA – Three Brits make their Washington debut as Katie Boulter, Katie Swan and Harriet Dart are all set to start their US hard court swing.

 

Katie Boulter v Aleksandra Krunic [5]

Katie Boulter in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Open, WTA Nottingham 2018

Katie Boulter in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Open, WTA Nottingham 2018 | (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for LTA)

After a strong grass court swing with her best tour level performance coming in Nottingham, Katie Boulter earns herself a spot in the main draw on merit. Boulter has done well at the ITF levels this year, and continues to manage her schedule to allow for the illness that dented her progress in 2015.

It is quite a tough start as she faces feisty No. 5 seed Aleksandra Krunic, whose speediness around the court makes her quite the challenge. She may not have the same kind of power as Boulter has, but makes up for it with her court coverage and precision. She can play well against pace, so the aggressive baseline style of Boulter might suit her down to the ground.

Boulter’s favoured serve and forehand combination has gotten her good results at the lower tier, and she has a sensible temperament that might serve her well against slightly more lively players.

Prediction: Krunic in straight sets

 

READ MORE | From illness to inspiration, Boulter draws inspiration from Konta and Watson after Nottingham run

From illness to inspiration, Boulter draws inspiration from Konta and Watson after Nottingham run

 

Katie Swan [WC] v Zheng Saisai

Coming in on a wildcard, Katie Swan will rely on a decent serve and much like Boulter, favours her forehand. It served her well as she was working through the junior levels and she has been steady on the ITF circuit especially on the hard courts.

Experience will be on Zheng Saisai’s side and her doubles prowess and court movement will make her a pretty formidable opponent to start with. She will try and do most of her damage from the baseline with a decent flattened out backhand as her favoured shot, and has a lot less pace off her forehand side.

She will make a lot of balls, and will make Swan play one extra shot. While Swan could give her a headache if she can return well, but this is more about getting the experience at a tour level – she has been in the main draws of the grass court tournaments of note since 2015, and has played Miami qualifying in 2015 and 2016.

Prediction: Zheng in straight sets

 

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Harriet Dart [Q] v Belinda Bencic [6]

Harriet Dart in the first round of Wimbledon 2018

Harriet Dart in the first round of Wimbledon 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

It has been a busy weekend already for Harriet Dart with two very commanding performances in the qualifying and earns a match-up against Belinda Bencic. The Swiss has worked hard to get back from a wrist injury last year that caused her to miss five months of the season and saw her drop to outside the Top 300. She won 28 out of 31 matches and her run to the fourth round of Wimbledon was her best run this season.

Her experience speaks volumes, but she would do well not to underestimate Dart who gave Karolina Pliskova pause for thought at Wimbledon this year. She will go for the lines, and has depth, pace and precision when things are clicking.

Prediction: Bencic in straight sets.

 

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