Maria Sharapova will begin her 2019 Australian Open campaign with a first round match against Great Britain’s Harriet Dart. This match will also kick-start the Australian Open competition for this year at the Rod Laver Arena.
Watch & bet on Maria Sharapova v Harriet Dart with bet365 here* on Monday, January 14. The Sharapova v Dart match will be played from 11 am local time (1 pm BST).
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Maria Sharapova v Harriet Dart Head to Head:
This will be the first time that Sharapova will play her Brit opponent, Dart.
Sharapova’s Return after the Ban
Following the Russian player’s return from her ban from tennis, Sharapova’s won one WTA title at Tianjin but what she would love to do is to get some better results at the Grand Slams.
There was a quarter-final appearance at the French Open last year but she hasn’t made the last-eight in any of the other four appearances – her fourth round entry at the 2018 US Open been her best showing.
Coming into this year’s Australian Open, Sharapova played at the Shenzhen Open where she won against Timea Bascinszky and Xinyu Wang before Aryna Sabalenka breezed past her 6-1, 4-2. Following this, she retired from her match.
It was that retirement, thanks to a thigh injury, that had put Sharapova in doubt for the Australian Open but she has done well to recover from it. The big question is whether Sharapova’s hunger and determination match the physical demands from the tour going into this first Slam.
Golubic’s Qualification to the Main Draw
About a year ago, Harriet Dart was struggling to make on the ITF circuit, featuring in a competition in Egypt which had an overall prize money of around £12,000. She went on to qualify for the 2018 Wimbledon through a wild-card and showed she could be a force to reckon with in her opener against Karolina Pliskova.
Pliskova needed a tie-breaker to win the first set of that match before Dart took the second and levelled the match. It was only in the final set that Pliskova managed to get away and win that encounter.
Since then she qualified for the Linz Open where she was sent out in round one by Kristina Mladenovic and then won an ITF tournament in Oslo.
Sharapova v Dart – Who Will Win?
Expecting the 2008 champion Sharapova to win this but don’t discount Dart from stretching her – with at least one of the sets going to the tie-breaker.
You can watch & bet on Maria Sharapova v Harriet Dart with bet365 here on Monday, January 14.