Hampstead ace Harriet Dart believes Krejčiková's success provides hope

Great Britain's Harriet Dart in action against USA's Lauren Davis during day five of the Viking Open

Great Britain's Harriet Dart in action against USA's Lauren Davis during day five of the Viking Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre. Picture date: Wednesday June 9, 2021. - Credit: PA

Hampstead's Harriet Dart believes Barbora Krejčiková's stunning Roland Garros women's singles success last Saturday has given herself and other players outside the world's top 100 real hope of also winning a major Grand Slam title.

The 25-year-old Czech ace also went on to claim the women's doubles title with fellow native Katarina Siniaková and became the first player in 21 years since iconic French darling Mary Pierce to achieve the unique Grand Slam double on the Parisian red clay surface.

In fact it was her sixth career Grand Slam doubles triumph, her second in the French capital, and overall moves her back to top spot in world WTA doubles standings.

In the last three years Krejčiková's world WTA singles ranking rose from 203 to 65. She advanced to a career high 15 this week following her three-set victory over Russia's 29-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at Court Philippe Chatrier.

Dart, 24, the current world number 146, was delighted for her friend Krejčiková, a player she has known since their junior days.

Great Britain's Harriet Dart in action against USA's Lauren Davis during day five of the Viking Open

Great Britain's Harriet Dart in action against USA's Lauren Davis during day five of the Viking Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre. Picture date: Wednesday June 9, 2021. - Credit: PA


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"It's so inspiring to see how far she's come," she said. "As much as you guys (the media) might be saying it was a bit of a shock, she's a great player, she plays great tennis and she's always been knocking on the door especially in the last year. 

"I've been friendly with her since juniors and she's super nice. So it's really nice to see her do well. It's quite phenomenal that she's won doubles there as well. I think she also played three events so she must be getting some good rest now I'm sure."

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Dart, the British number three behind current topper and last week's Viking Open Nottingham WTA250 winner Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, put in a gutsy display before going out to France's former world number four Caroline Garcia in three tight sets 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in round one of Viking Classic Birmingham WTA250 event.

The Arsenal supporter feels her pre-Wimbledon form is too early to judge from the three matches she's played on grass so far.

"I've not had many matches but the ones I have had have been really close so that's promising for me," Dart added.

"I don't think I've played some of my best tennis yet. 

Harriet Dart in action against Caroline Garcia during day one of the Viking Classic at the Edgbaston

Harriet Dart in action against Caroline Garcia during day one of the Viking Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham. Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021. - Credit: PA

"I've still got a lot of things to work on and improve for the next tournament so I'm just looking forward to playing some doubles here in Birmingham and get some more court time on grass."

The former pupil at The Royal School could be handed a prized wild card into the main women's singles draw at the famous SW19 Grand Slam British grasscourt event.

But for now she will be expected to enter into next week's Wimbledon qualifying tournament (June 23-26) at Bank of England Club in Roehampton, South London.

Meanwhile at the Cinch Championships at Queen's Club, West Kensington, Camden Town's James Ward along with his partner Stuart Parker was knocked out in the first round of the doubles event by fellow domestic pairing Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot in straight sets.

Ward is also expected to play in the Wimbledon qualifying event in a bid to make his tenth appearance in the main draw.

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