Harriet Dart has given compatriot Emma Raducanu something of a boost after the defending US Open champion suffered a disappointing first-round exit on Tuesday night. The 26-year-old was bidding to overtake Raducanu as the British No 1 in her round two match but crashed out to Dalma Galfi in under an hour, ensuring the teenager would stay at the top of the Brit pack.
Raducanu’s US Open title defence lasted just an hour and 41 minutes as she crashed out to world No 40 Alize Cornet 6-3 6-3 in the first round. It means that the world No 11 will fall to No 79 at best at the conclusion of the tournament, as she will lose all 2,040 ranking points she earned by coming through qualifying to win the title and make history last year.
The 19-year-old’s early exit also gave way for Dart to earn herself the title of British No 1 with Raducanu set to suffer a huge drop but the world No 88 helped the teenager out as she failed to get through her second-round match, losing 6-4 6-0 to former junior US Open champion Galfi.
While it was a tough loss for the London native, Raducanu will receive a huge boost in the knowledge that she will remain the British No 1 and continue to lead the pack of rising British tennis stars despite being unable to perform in her US Open title defence. While she will likely be glad to remain the top-ranked Brit, Raducanu has also admitted that she’s happy with a “clean slate” to claw her way back up the rankings.