Australian Open gets underway as Maria Sharapova dismisses Harriet Dart | Sport
There could be no fairytale debut for Harriet Dart when she shared the dignity of opening the 2019 Australian Open within the sweltering Rod Laver Arena with the participant she admires greater than some other, Maria Sharapova. The Russian, no sentimentalist, ruthlessly hammered out a double bagel in simply 63 mins.
In the tunnel on their approach directly to the match’s showpiece battleground, they handed an inscription attributed to the person after whom the gap is known as. It reads: “Your game is at its most vulnerable when you’re ahead. Stay focused.”
It grew to become out the one time Dart led Sharapova used to be strolling directly to the courtroom, then taking the primary level of the fit, however she didn’t have the guns, particularly on 2nd serve, of which she received simplest 4 from 17. The simplest charity Sharapova confirmed her used to be giving up seven double faults, just about 1 / 4 of Dart’s general issues.
Dart left the courtroom in tears, bitterly dissatisfied together with her appearing, however she would possibly take some convenience from the reality her opponent discovered a wealthy, impossible to resist vein of shape at simply the suitable time.
“It’s been many years since I held that trophy here, so it was a privilege to be back on this court,” the 2008 champion stated courtside. “My opponent not having the best day, I had to get the job done. The youngsters are taking our place, but not just yet.”
If Dart trailed by way of 9 years in age, she had a determined edge in task, having sharpened up with 3 first rate qualifying wins, whilst the Russian arrived with simply 10 fits within the financial institution from final season. Still, it used to be sufficient to squeeze her within the seedings boundary at 30 – greater than 100 puts transparent of the Londoner.
The simplest numbers that mattered had been those posted at the board, and Dart’s trembling racket introduced the previous champion with 21 unforced mistakes, approach too many in two units – particularly at this degree. Sharapova’s recreation, constructed on her larger power and pedigree, used to be too robust. Hitting her serve and a large number of her groundstrokes above Dart’s shoulder top, she used to be repeatedly at the assault.
Sharapova has neglected just one commute to Australia since 2003, when Dart used to be six years outdated, and went out within the 3rd spherical towards Angelique Kerber final 12 months. If she tightens up her serve, she will have to cross deeper this time.
There used to be little reason for British cheer in other places within the first consultation. Heather Watson had the doubtful difference of being the primary participant out of the match when the 31st seed Petra Martic blew her off Court 14 in simply over an hour, 6-1, 6-2.