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Harriet Dart tipped to exceed Emma Raducanu by Indian Wells champion

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HARRIET DART is into the fourth round in Indian Wells.

Harriet Dart has been tipped to surpass Emma Raducanu after her run to the Indian Wells fourth-round. The Brit will break into the world’s top 100 for the first time after defeating the likes of 12th seed Elina Svitolina en route to the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open. The defending champion Paula Badosa has now made a big rankings claim about the British No 3.

Harriet Dart is having the week of her career in Indian Wells.

Having come through qualifying, she has now made her best showing at a WTA 1000 event, having previously reached the second round of the Canadian Open last year.

She has dropped just one set en route to the last 16, to former world No 3 and 2018 WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina in the second round.

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Dart got through her first round after Ana Konjuh retired with the Brit 6-1 3-1 up in the opening round of the main draw, before downing 12th seed Svitolina 2-6 6-3 6-3 for the best win of her career by ranking.

On a day with Murray and Raducanu in action, Dart became the only Brit to win her match on Sunday when she defeated Kaia Kanepi 7-6(4) 6-3, while former No 1 Murray suffered a straight-sets loss to Bublik and US Open champion Raducanu lost a tight three-set battle to Petra Martic.

The 25-year-old from Hampstead will now face 25th seed Madison Keys for a place in the quarter-finals.

And she already has the seal of approval from defending champion and world No 7 Paula Badosa.

The Spaniard was speaking about the depth of talent on the WTA Tour when she told a story about a player she had seen competing on the outside courts in Indian Wells

“In WTA anything can happen. The level has improved a lot,” the 24-year-old said after opening her title defence with a win over Tereza Martincova.

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“Yesterday I was watching tennis. I saw an insane match. Then you see the ranking. It was a girl [ranked] 120.”

Revealing that the player in question was Dart, Badosa made a big claim about the British No 3’s game, adding: “She played like Top 10 level.”

The three-time title winner’s claim puts Dart ahead of her compatriot Emma Raducanu.

Raducanu stunned the sporting world last year when she won the US Open as the 150th-ranked qualifier – the first qualifier in history to lift a Grand Slam title.

She shot up the rankings to the top 25 and now sits at world No 13 with a career high of No 12, but has never been able to crack the top ten.

The pair faced off in Raducanu’s first-ever professional career match last summer, when she was awarded a wildcard into the Nottingham Open while ranked outside the world’s top 300.

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It was Dart who came through 6-3 6-4, just three months before her compatriot became a Grand Slam champion.

And the British No 3 will now be hoping to follow in Raducanu’s footsteps, having come through qualifying in Indian Wells and finding herself in the last 16