Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Day 2: Brit-Watch at Wimbledon 2011

Flickr Creative Commons by Marc Di Luzio

So it's the end of day two at Wimbledon and a host of British tennis players took to the courts today. There were 11 British hopefuls at the start of the tournament but how many remain now?

Yesterdays win for Andy Murray against Daniel Gimeno-Traver was unsurprising, although he suffered a bit of a scare after losing the first set 4-6 before coming back 6-3 and then winning the remaining two sets 6-0, 6-0. He now faces world number 83 Tobias Kamke in the second round.

Emily Webley-Smith, who received a wildcard put up a fantastic fight against the world number 38 Klara Zakopalova and after losing the first set the lowly 244th ranked Webley-Smith 6-3 came back to win the second 5-7. It was in vain though as she ended up losing in the third set 8-6. Still it was an honourable performance.

There were high hopes for James Ward after his heroics at Queens but he couldn't respond to 19th seed Michael Llodra's excellent serving - at one point the Frenchman had 81% of his first serves finding the mark. Ward lost in straight sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. He still has some work to do if he is to meet his aim of breaking into the worlds top 100. 

Britain's number four Dan Evans took his opponent, 20th seed Florian Mayer, to four sets including two tie-breaks (both of which he lost), before winning the third set 6-3 but was eventually overpowered and was yet another British casualty.

Another Dan (Cox), meanwhile lost in straight sets to world number 46, Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine the lowest ranked of the British male wildcard's opponents but still too good for the world 273. The result was 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Court 1
Flickr Creative Commons by Marc Di Luzio

Thank our lucky stars then for the all-British pairing of Anne Keothavong and Naomi Broady, which at least guaranteed us a British woman in the second round. Keothavong prevailed winning in straight sets xx xx against an inconsistent Broady - who although showed potential was no match for the higer ranked Keothavong. Next up Kvitova tomorrow, which will be a much sterner test for the British number three. 

Then came world number 68 and British number one Elena Baltacha who played German qualifier Mona Barthel. Baltacha looked nervous at times, this was after all the same court where she was knocked out a year ago against a lower ranked player, but she gritted her teeth and knocked out a 6-2, 6-4 win against the world number 114. 

Heather Watson and Laura Robson didn't get to play their matches so should be up tomorrow - so another day of nail biting and crossed fingers.

So there we have it. Out of eleven British players, three still stand and a further two are still to play a match. Not as bad as last year, so it's a step in the right direction and there's still a chance I could be proved wrong.

What do you think?

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