By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Cameron Norrie v Aljaz Bedene
- Liam Broady [WC] v Milos Raonic 
- Harriet Dart v Karolina Pliskova 
- Katy Swan v Irina-Camelia Begu
WIMBLEDON, UK – There are four Brits in action on the first day of Wimbledon 2018, with Cameron Norrie leading the charge.
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Cameron Norrie v Aljaz Bedene | First Meeting
The Brit has been making great strides this year. He acquitted himself very well at Roland Garros, giving home hope Lucas Pouille a good fight, and has had some decent form on the grass, reaching the quarter-finals in Eastbourne.
While he might not find grass all that easy, he has a lot of determination and a hard work ethic we are used to seeing in both Kyle Edmund and Andy Murray (who sadly announced his withdrawal from the tournament late on Sunday.
In Eastbourne, following his exit at the hands of runner-up Lukas Lacko, Norrie said: “For sure, I think the grass is not the most natural surface for me, but I think it’s a good challenge and I like a challenge.
“And I think I can play well, and I think I’m going to be beat over five sets in Wimbledon if I have a good attitude and play every point and compete as hard as I can. But, no, I’m very happy with the way I played this week and ready for Wimbledon.”
Bedene has at least made some headway at SW19 and had his best year here last year, reaching the third round, so Norrie will have to be at his tenacious best to beat the Slovakian who has a lot more experience in Slams.
Norrie has been no stranger to five set matches this year with his earlier Davis Cup heroics but perhaps the expectation that will now be beating down on him will be a little bit of an eye-opener.
Prediction: Bedene in four sets.
Liam Broady [WC] v Milos Raonic  | First Meeting
The injury woes of Milos Raonic continue to plague the rangy Canadian, and in light of his retirement at Queen’s club in the opening round, you have to wonder how ready he is for the fight. A former Wimbledon finalist, there is no doubt that Raonic can bring his best on a surface that definitely suits his game, but how fit is he, and can Liam Broady take full advantage of his wild-card.
It would be easy to dismiss the wild-carded Brits but let’s not forget he has made it past the first round before in 2015, before falling to David Goffin in the second round. He will need to utilise the court and pull Raonic around. The Canadian has long relied on his serve to get him plenty of free points and may be susceptible if Broady can mix things up.
However, if Raonic is ready to play, then maybe the best Broady can hope for is at least a set off the Canadian.
Prediction: Raonic in four sets.
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Harriet Dart v Karolina Pliskova  | First Meeting
The Brit has racked up some solid grass court time, and for once Pliskova’s grass court prep has seen her fall short of finals in any of the warm-up events. As she joked, perhaps she should not go deep in the earlier tournaments to get past the second round.
Prediction: Pliskova in straight sets.
Katie Swan v Irina Camelia Begu | First Meeting
Another quick wild-card outing is on the offing will be for Katie Swan who has also been busy on the lower tier grass court tournaments in the UK, but maybe not as consistent as compatriot Dart.
That being said, Irina Camelia Begu has been quiet on the grass this year, in singles anyway, but experience is everything and having reached the finals of doubles in Eastbourne, her match-sharpness will probably be a little too much for the Brit.
Prediction: Begu in straight sets.
Play starts at Wimbledon at 11:30am on all courts except Centre Court and No. 1 Court, which starts at 1pm (all times BST).
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