By Amanda Barlow

  • Angelique Kerber [4] def. Laura Robson [WC] 6-2 6-2
  • Elina Svitolina [17] def. Naomi Broady 6-2 6-3

LONDON, UK – On a variable day for the Brits overall, former British No. 1 Laura Robson, and Naomi Broady exited on the opening day of The Championships

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Angelique Kerber [4] def. Laura Robson [WC] 6-2 6-2

Five years ago, a very different frame of mind will have fallen on Germany’s Kerber, as she coped with a British hope, who not only matched her blow for blow, but ultimately upended her on the lawns of Wimbledon.

Kerber had yet to win any back-to-back matches in the main draws of WTA tournaments, occasionally dropping back to ITF level events to get some confidence back.

Robson had big-hit her way into the hearts of the British public, winning the junior title at Wimbledon in 2008, making her debut on the ITF senior tour later that year.

In that time of course, a lot has happened. Kerber attributes that difficult year as a turning point for her. She travelled to the US, and would go on to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

For Robson though, it has been a different story. Two seasons in and around the Top 50 came crashing down as a left-wrist injury saw her play just two matches in 2014, finishing just inside the Top 1000 and missing the first five and a half months of 2015 before tentatively returning to the tour.

Using her protected ranking and wildcards, she has gained match practice once more, but the reality is this first round defeat to Kerber means she does start from scratch again on the ITF circuit.

The good news is that apart from a retirement in Eastbourne she has been largely pain free, as she told BBC Sport: “For me, it’s a massive win to be here and not have any niggles for quite a few months now, apart from a very small one in Eastbourne.

“I’ve worked very, very hard to be healthy, to be completely fit on court. It’s 100% a huge goal for me to finish the year in the same way.”

Kerber admitted that she had the 2011 match at the back of her mind before the match itself, but in truth she was probably more relieved to have gotten over her post-Slam-winning hangover, after bombing out herself in the first round of Paris.


Elina Svitolina [17] def. Naomi Broady 6-2 6-3

The British No. 3 also had a tough opener, and while this could have been winnable, a slow start was fatal against the 17th seed Svitolina who took advantage to race out to a straight sets win.

Broady had been determined to get into Wimbledon this year on her own merit and not with the benefit of a wildcard, which she achieved, breaking the top 100 this year after a solid start to the year.

She reached the quarter-finals in Auckland, the semi-finals in Kuala Lumpur but since then she has not won a back to back main draw match on the tour, and now has suffered her fifth first round exit in a row.

But she did a great deal of good today, proudly announcing on Twitter before the tournament started:

She raised £70 in her match for the charity.

Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Tara Moore all play on Tuesday, and play starts on the outer courts at 11:30am.

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