By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Harriet Dart [WC] def. Beatriz Haddad Maia [Q]
  • Dart v Ashleigh Barty [1]
WIMBLEDON, UK – Harriet Dart continues her best run at Wimbledon with a Centre Court clash with the newest Slam winner on the block and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.

 

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Harriet Dart [WC] def. Beatriz Haddad Maia [Q]

Having coped with the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge, and a battling opponent in Christina McHale, Harriet Dart then faced Garbiñe Muguruza’s conqueror, Beatriz Haddad Maia.

It was a confident start by Dart who broke the Brazilian in the first game, and almost held on to that advantage all the way, before she was broke back for 5-5. The resulting tie-break saw momentum shift a bit, but it was Dart who took the early lead.

The second set saw Haddad Maia regroup to start the set more brightly with an immediate break. She was pegged back but regained the advantage and broke decisively for the second set.

Dart hot back in the third set with three consecutive breaks to book her spot in the third round for the first time, and to go some way to alleviating some of the disappointment at no longer teaming up with Jay Clarke for the Mixed Doubles.

They were set to play, having reached the semi-finals last year, but Clarke was approached by teen sensation this tournament Cori (Coco) Gauff to play, and had to let Dart know. With scant time to find a replacement, Dart can now focus on her singles.

 

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Dart v Ashleigh Barty [1] | First meeting

Ashleigh Barty in the second round of Wimbledon 2019

Ashleigh Barty in the second round of Wimbledon 2019 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

There is now the small matter of facing the World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the Manic Monday line-up. Barty has been predictably in top form as she continues her unbeaten streak – now 14 matches on the bounce. Barty has dropped just one set in all this – to Amanda Anisimova in the Roland Garros semi-final.

Having been at the stage where she looked at the clay court season being one step closer to grass, she is now in her element, but surprisingly she has never made the second week at Wimbledon. She fell in the second round in 2012 and 2017, and in qualifying in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Her ability to slice, dice and move around the court like a chess piece will be hard work for Dart. The Brit can hit with depth, force and precision, but will be moved all around the court as Barty will look to dictate the proceedings with the angles she can create around her forehand, not to mention her serving.

Dart has had an amazing run, but with that top quarter beginning to open out now, you could not count against Barty to come out fighting on Manic Monday.

Prediction: Barty in straight sets.

 

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