Dart delighted to get back on court

Harriet Dart in action on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and

Harriet Dart in action on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

West Hampstead tennis sensation Harriet Dart will kickstart her 2020 season in the brand new LTA Progress Tour Women’s Championship next month.

With the field still to be finalised the 23-year-old, who is managed by Sir Elton John’s Rocket Sports, so far heads a competitive line-up of top British players that also includes Naomi Broady, Samantha Murray, Jodie Burrage and promising young GB Fed Cup player Emma Raducanu.

Tournament chiefs are hopeful that the country’s top two women players – world number 14 Johanna Konta and number 50 Heather Watson – will also participate in the £30,000 round robin formatted event which will be held behind closed doors at LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, South London from July 14-18.

“I’m so excited to compete again,” said a delighted Dart, who has this year played in the GB Fed Cup team, on the official LTA website.

“It’s great that the Progress Tour Women’s Championships is giving the British women a chance to play matches and restart our careers in a way which is going to be safe for us and everyone involved.”

The highlight of Dart’s 2020 season so far has been her gallant five-match run in the Grand Slam Australian Open back in January.

Dart came through the qualifying rounds before Romania’s current Wimbledon champion and world number two Simona Halep got the better of the former Royal School Hampstead school pupil in the last 64 in Melbourne.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic began and halted the tennis season Arsenal fan Dart, who is currently number 146 in the WTA world rankings and is coached by former Serbia & Montenegro Fed Cup captain highly-regarded Bilijana Veselinovic, lost to Romanian 227th world-ranked Gabriela Talaba in the first round of the second tier ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Irapuato, Mexico in March.