It can be difficult keeping track of all of the British players at Wimbledon – particularly those you may not be familiar with. Luckily, we’ll be doing a regular roundup of who has progressed and fallen by the wayside at SW19.
Hmm, who should we begin with? How about a relative unknown called Andy Murray, who beat Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan in straight sets 6-1 6-4 6-2. The victory, which was interrupted by two rain breaks, certainly bodes well for the World No.1.
In the ladies’ competition, it was also a fine start for British No.1 Johanna Konta. Despite having to withdraw from the semifinal of the Aegon International with a back injury last week, Konta brushed past Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh, who knocked her out of the French Open last month, 6-2 6-2. Watch this space.
The good news for British tennis fans continued in the form of a Heather Watson victory over Belgium’s Maryna Zanevska. The British wildcard was very strong in the first set, but nerves seemed to get the better of her in the second, which went to a tense tie-break. However, Watson edged the match 6-1 7-6 to advance to the second round.
Perhaps the biggest British story of the day was Aljaž Bedene beating serve-master Ivo Karlovic in a marathon encounter that finished 6-7(5) 7-6(6) 6-7(7) 7-6(7) 8-6. The match, which lasted a bum-numbing four hours and 25 minutes, saw Bedene beat Karlovic for the fourth time.
“Every five-set win probably feels the best,” said Bedene after the match. “I know when you lose either in four or five sets – although I have never lost in five – you come down and you feel bad. Sometimes it’s easier to lose in three. It was a five-set win with only one break of serve, so it feels good.”
And that’s where the good news ended for the British professionals: promising youngster Cameron Norrie unsurpringly lost to old pro Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-2 6-2, Laura Robson was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Naomi Broady was identically bested 6-4 6-2 by Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania.