Brexits? Andy Murray absence puts Wimbledon spotlight on unheralded Brits

Andy Murray's shock absence put the spotlight on his fellow Britons as the grass-court Grand Slam got underway on Monday.

Published: 02nd July 2018 10:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2018 02:39 AM   |  A+A-

Former ATP world number one Andy Murray (File | AP)


LONDON: With Andy Murray pulling out of Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament, the two-time champion's shock absence put the spotlight on his fellow Britons as the grass-court Grand Slam got underway on Monday:

Here AFP Sport looks at how Britain's male and female players fared without Murray to carry the flag at the All England Club:

Harriet Dart

Competing in her first Grand Slam singles match, Dart threatened to cause a major shock before slipping to a 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-1 defeat against Czech world number seven Karolina Pliskova. 

Dart has hit her highest singles ranking of 171 this month, reaping the rewards of a restorative move to Turkey after foot and hip injuries, coupled with a bout of pneumonia, had halted her progress.

Despite her defeat in sweltering heat on Court 12, the 21-year-old Londoner acquitted herself well against Pliskova, surviving a leg injury and some off-court treatment to take the second set.

Dart, who was watching from the stands when Murray won his first Wimbledon title in 2013, beat Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna less than a week ago at Eastbourne to secure her first WTA Tour-level victory.

But the former world number one and US Open finalist proved a tougher nut to crack as Pliskova eased to victory in the deciding set.

Liam Broady

Broady was given a harsh lesson on Court One as Milos Raonic handed the world number 173 a 7-5, 6-0, 6-1 thrashing.

Raonic was runner-up to Murray in the 2016 Wimbledon final and Broady was no match for the Canadian 13th seed. 

The 24-year-old hails from Stockport -- the Lancashire town that former Wimbledon champion Fred Perry called home -- but the similarities between the two end there.

In the past 12 months, Broady has risen more than 200 places in the rankings, a run that earned him a Wimbledon wildcard.

But making his Wimbledon debut and only his third appearance at a major, Broady was buried under an avalanche of 18 aces from Raonic.

Katie Swan

Swan, the world number 204, got Britain's first win at this year's Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-2 success against Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu. The 19-year-old was playing at Wimbledon for the second time after being given a wild card. United States-born Swan, who is being mentored by Murray after signing with his management company in January, demolished world number 36 Begu to clinch her maiden victory at a major. Murray will surely be in touch to congratulate Swan, who recently revealed she has spent more time discussing reality show Love Island with the star than she has talking tennis.

Cameron Norrie

World number 75 Norrie lost 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene who, ironically, once represented Britain! Norrie also lost on his Wimbledon debut in 2017 at the hands of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

..there's still hope...

-- Eight more Britons are in action on Tuesday


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