Tennis: Hampstead’s Dart doubles up with legendary Venus Williams

PUBLISHED: 13:30 17 June 2019

Harriet Dart reacts during day six of the Nature Valley Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre (pic Nigel French/PA)

Harriet Dart reacts during day six of the Nature Valley Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre (pic Nigel French/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Hampstead’s Harriet Dart will team up with Venus Williams to play doubles at this year’s Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, an LTA summer grass court event.

Williams has won 14 Grand Slam women's doubles titles and three Olympic Gold Medals in doubles, all partnering her sister Serena.

Her only other partners on the WTA Tour have been Caroline Wozniacki, whom she played doubles with in Doha in 2008, and Madison Keys, whom she partnered in Rome in 2018. She and Dart have never played together before.

They will face the experienced doubles pairing of Nadiia Kichenok (UKR) and Abigail Spears (USA) in the first round, fourth on Court One on Monday.

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"What an incredible opportunity to play with such a champion and I'm very excited about it," said 22-year-old Dart, who was born two years after 38-year-old Williams turn professional in 1994.

"She's done so much for the women's game. For me it's just a privilege and an honour to be able to play with her. I can't wait to get out there."

Both Williams and Dart are also playing singles in Birmingham as part of the tournament's best ever player line-up.

World number one Naomi Osaka, world number two Ashleigh Barty, world number tree Karolina Pliskova and British number one (and Dart's GB Fed Cup team-mate) Johanna Konta are also competing in Birmingham.

Konta will begin her campaign against Anett Kontaveit on Monday.

Dart and Williams are not the only high profile pairing in doubles. Barty - a former doubles champion in Birmingham alongside fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua - is paired with Julia Goerges. Heather Watson will play with Mihaela Buzarnescu.

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