Harriet Dart excited to face idol Maria Sharapova at Australian Open

RISING star Harriet Dart once looked up to Maria Sharapova – tomorrow she will look her straight in the eyes.

Britain’s No.4 star grew up idolising the Russian, particularly when she shocked Serena Williams to win the 2004 Wimbledon title as a teenager.

Maria Sharapova will take on Brit Harriet Dart in the first round in Melbourne on Monday
EPA

The 22-year-old will achieve her dreams when she takes on Sharapova in the first round of the Australian Open having come through tough qualifying.

Dart said: “I’m super excited to play in the main draw. Sharapova has been my idol since I was very little. I looked up to her growing up. She always looked so nice when she was playing. I also admire the way she holds herself on the court, her presence.

“She has been so successful in the game. There are many things why I look up towards her. I was pretty young when she first won Wimbledon. It will be pretty cool to play her.”

Dart made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon last year and hopes to move up from her world ranking position of 132 over the next 12 months.

Maria Sharapova suffere da three-set defeat in her first match at Wimbledon since a drug ban
Maria Sharapova shocked the world of tennis when she won Wimbledon in 2004 aged 17
Getty Images – Getty

The Londoner recently returned to the UK having spent time in Turkey with coach Goran Marijan.

She added: “Istanbul is a cool city. There were a lot of foreigners there, loads of different people.

“We have been working on my game, trying to improve things 5-10%. That makes a big difference when you put it all together. I have been happy I have stuck with it and implemented everything in matches and I’m getting results for the hard work.”

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Russian beauty Maria Sharapova last won the Australian Open in 2008
Getty Images – Getty

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