Harriet Dart - Wimbledon 2019

Exclusive: Harriet Dart reveals secret to home soil success

Harriet Dart had a break out year in 2022 reaching a career high ranking of 84. In an exclusive interview to mark the launch of the ASICS 2023 new range of shoes and apaprel the British No.2 explained the key to her success, particularly on the British isles. 

Dart entered the top 100 for the first time last year, after making a run to the last-16 at Indian Wells, as a qualifier. She also found success in the states at the US Open, picking up her first top-10 win over Daria Kasatkina.

However, most of the 26-year-old’s fortunes have come in the UK, with a 60% win-loss record on home soil, compared to a 47% win-loss record overall. In 2022 Dart reached her first two WTA quarter-finals, as well as helping Great Britain to their first Billie Jean King Cup semi-final since 1981.

“I think being on home soil in front of the British fans it does definitely give a bit more fire inside of me, and I really thrive in that environment of having extra support and I feel like people know me a lot more in the UK than globally, so naturally I have a lot more fans within the UK.”

Harriet Dart adds, “What I would say is there have been some amazing fans when I have travelled around the world this year, and I have really felt that – especially at the US Open this year and I hope to build on that.”

Dart described the emotions she feels when playing at home, and explained how her happy home life improves how she feels on court.

“A mix of things for sure. I am probably a bit more stressed at the British tournaments, because naturally I want to do better and play well in front of the British crowd and friends and family. It has been a lot of fun this year.”

“I truly believe if you are happy in your life, with your family and friends, with platonic, romantic whatever it is, you then come to your workplace in a better state of mind. I am really fortunate that I have got some great people around me and that makes it able for me to be in a good headspace. It (tennis) is not always plain sailing, so it is important to keep a level head.”

Although Dart is improving year-on-year, she is still yet to pick up her first WTA title. She spoke about how having a level head is vital to cope with the shortcomings on tour.

“You have got to deal with disappointment every week. If it is a 32 draw, 31 players are unhappy and there is only one that is happy and that is week in and week out. That is why not having too highs or too lows and having a greater perspective of things is really important, and I feel like I have dealt with that a lot better this year and that has been reflected in my ranking.”

Harriet Dart is currently the British No.2, just over 20 spots behind her compatriot Emma Raducanu. Although, not a direct aim Dart described what it would mean to become British No.1.

“Growing up people always refer to their ranking and their British number, of course it would be great to get that achievement under my belt but is not something that I focus on. I try and focus on the things that I can control and if I do want to become British number one, I have got to win a lot more matches. If I can keep winning matches and keep doing good things, then good things will happen. If it were to be the case, then it would be a nice and special moment.”

Dart begins her 2023 Grand Slam year at the Australian Open against Jil Teichmann, who she beat in Eastbourne last year.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.