By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Katie Swan [WC] def. Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2 6-2
- Milos Raonic  def. Liam Broady [WC] 7-5 6-0 6-1
- Karolina Pliskova  def. Harriet art [WC] 7-6(2) 2-6 6-1
- Aljaz Bedene def. Cameron Norrie 6-4 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 6-4
WIMBLEDON, UK – Katie Swan was the highlight of the British wild-cards as Cameron Norrie, Harriet Dart and Liam Broady bow out in the first round.
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Katie Swan [WC] def. Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2 6-2
Katie Swan was the sole British winner on the first day of Wimbledon 2018. She despatched the more experienced, Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets. While the Romanian had a decent run in doubles at Eastbourne, she had done barely anything in the singles for the warm-up to the Slam and it showed.
Swan said, after the match: “It was a good match. I think I was pretty nervous at the start. Actually, most of the way through I felt myself a bit shaky. I don’t think it affected my tennis too much. I’m so happy that I managed to come through.”
Swan, who is managed by Andy Murray’s management company was a World No. 3 in the juniors, and the indications are she could progress very well in the seniors.
She continued: “To get a wild card, I was so grateful to get that. And this year I’ve been working really hard. The last few weeks I’ve shown more myself than anyone I can compete with the top girls. Going into the match today with that mind-set, I think that’s why I was able to win.”
Swan goes from one Romanian to another in Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round.
Milos Raonic  def. Liam Broady [WC] 7-5 6-0 6-1
There had been the slimmest of chances that Liam Broady might have been able to capitalise on yet another injury-interrupted season for Canada’s Milos Raonic. The Brit hung with him extremely well in the first set, fending off an early break point chance, before Raonic pressured Broady into a break for the first set.
From then on to call it one-way traffic for the rangy Canadian would be charitable, as Broady would lose 11 out of the next 12 games.
After the match, he said: “I have never played someone with a serve that big before. From the start of the match, like, I think the first game he went a couple like 136, 138. Even a second serve I think at one point in the match was like 140. It kind of shocked me a bit, like, I have never played someone with a serve that consistently big.
“I came off court and it was definitely a tough one, because I went out there actually feeling like I could cause an upset today. I have not been getting the wins I wanted recently, but I have been playing pretty well and getting better all the time and been in a pretty good place mentally.
“One of my targets for the end of the year was top 100, and to win a challenger was one of those targets. Fingers crossed I achieve both of those.”
Karolina Pliskova  def. Harriet art [WC] 7-6(2) 2-6 6-1
The No, 7 seed Karolina Pliskova got a real scare at the hands of Psychology student Harriet Dart. The Brit stayed toe-to-toe with the former World No. 1 and Slam finalist, before levelling things up in the second set, even after a nasty spill saw her take an extended medical time out.
In the end Pliskova was too strong for Dart, but admitted that her serving had not been on form today, giving Dart chances to hang in the match.
Dart said:” I think I played pretty well. It’s my first time playing here in the main draw singles. Obviously disappointed to lose, but many positives to take forward.
“[Pliskova is] a great player. She’s a Grand Slam finalist, a top-10 player, previous world No. 1. It was always going to be a very tricky match.
“She came out swinging. Her serve, especially on the breakpoints, she was serving very big. It was difficult for me to get any chances. She definitely started to up her game a little bit in the third set. I couldn’t quite get the score pressure on the board.”
Aljaz Bedene def. Cameron Norrie 6-4 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 6-4
In the battle of the former Brit Aljaz Bedene and fast rising Cameron Norrie, it looked good for the latter as he took the first set. But experience won out in two competitive sets with Bedene just getting ahead in the two tie-breakers as the evening’s light started to fade.
Norrie is fast establishing himself in the British ranks and has always been honest that grass was not his best surface, so prepare yourselves for when he returns to surer ground in the US, where he will be returning to train at his former university.
He said: “I think I handled the occasion a lot better than I did last year. I think I’ve grown a lot over the last year as a player. But, no, I think I played well, and he just played more clutch than me in both tiebreaks, was more aggressive, and showed his experience today. But, no, I’m happy with the way I competed and played today.
“I think if I want to be a better player, I want to transition into a better player, then I have to be aggressive. I think I’m happy to lose today, then maybe make quarters or something in the future. I think going for those cuts, making those sacrifices now is going to allow me to build as a player, just be more comfortable in those moments when I’ve got more experience as a tennis player.”
Play continues on Day 2 of Wimbledon 2018 at 11:30 on all courts apart from Centre Court and No. 1. Court, which start at 1pm (BST).
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