Dart to play Sharapova in Australian Open first round


Harriet Dart received a wildcard to Wimbledon in 2018, losing to Karolina Pliskova
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

British number four Harriet Dart will face five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova of Russia in the first round of the Australian Open after winning her final qualifying match.

The 22-year-old world number 132 beat Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic 1-6 6-3 6-1.

After receiving a wildcard for last year’s Wimbledon, it is the first time she has reached a Slam through the qualifying rounds.

Dan Evans also won to make it eight British players in the first round.

It is the first time Evans, 28, has reached the main draw of a major tournament since returning from a drugs ban last year.

The British number four will face another qualifier – Tatsuma Ito of Japan – after beating Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-3.

Evans has the incentive of a potential third-round tie against Swiss world number three Roger Federer.

Andy Murray, who said earlier on Friday the tournament in Melbourne could be the last of his career, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie are already in the men’s draw, with Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter in the women’s.

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