Dart aims for rise like Robson’s

West Hampstead teenager Harriet Dart reached the first final of her professional career last week at the Aegon Pro-Series Event at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

The 16-year-old was eventually defeated by top seed and former top 100 player Renata Voracova 6-4, 6-2 but this proceeded some strong results, in particular a tough second round win over the much higher ranked Amy Bowtell.

Dart, who trains at the Nottingham Tennis Club and is coached by John Black, believes that the recent success of Wimbledon resident Laura Robson and Heather Watson is helping inspire the next generation.

“Definitely, it’s great that there are some really good British women coming through now,” she said, adding: “Hopefully it will inspire the rest of us and I would like to be one of them.”

Dart even suggested that her playing style matched that of Robson, saying: “I like to play aggressive and I would say my backhand down the line is my best shot,”

In revealing how she got into the sport, she said: “I lived two minutes from Cumberland LTC [Lawn Tennis Club] as a kid and went along with my mum to play.

“I remember thinking a tennis racquet was actually a guitar when I was very young but I started playing when I was around six.”

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With Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain Judy Murray watching with interest, Dart’s results prove she is definitely one to watch for the future.