Clarke snubs Dart for Gauff: You play with a big name or a champion
Harriet Dart missed out on playing in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon after Jay Clarke opted instead to team up with Cori Gauff.
Jay Clarke explained his decision to team up with “probably the biggest name in the draw” after snubbing Wimbledon mixed doubles partner Harriet Dart for Cori Gauff.
Clarke will link up with 15-year-old sensation Gauff rather than Dart after a late change, informing his fellow Briton of the decision by text message.
Gauff has created headlines after incredibly defeating idol Venus Williams on her way to reaching the third round of the women’s draw.
Dart brought attention to the matter by encouraging reporters to ask Clarke of his reasons for the switch, although she had no wish to discuss it further after a singles win over Beatriz Haddad Maia on Thursday.
Clarke was also in action, losing in straight sets to second seed Roger Federer, and was asked for the reason behind the change.
“It was kind of a last-minute thing,” he told the media. “I heard a lot about people changing last minute to make sure they get in. Obviously there was a thing with Andy [Murray] and Serena [Williams] wanting to play.
“And I wasn’t sure. We weren’t told that we’d have the wildcard in again. Obviously there are all these pairs that don’t normally play and I know there were only four wildcards.
“I made the decision a few days ago now to play with Coco, because, wildcards aside, you play with a big name or a past champion. I made the decision to play with probably the biggest name in the draw at the moment.”
Clarke also revealed details of a subsequent exchange with Dart.
“Obviously, initially, she was very upset,” he said. “She had every right to be; I would be too.
“But I spoke to her before the tournament came out and said if I won a match in the singles or two matches, we probably wouldn’t play anyway, we’d pull out.
“Obviously she’s done that. I’m glad she’s doing well.”