Katie Swan makes Wimbledon breakthrough but is only British winner on day one

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Katie Swan saw Andy Murray’s influence pay rich dividends as she toppled world number 36 Irina-Camelia Begu at Wimbledon.

Swan conceded 165 world ranking spots to her Romanian foe, but swept to a fine 6-2 6-2 victory to reach the second round of a grand slam for the first time.

The 19-year-old world number 201 recently signed to two-time Wimbledon winner Murray’s management agency, and offered further thanks to the 31-year-old as she reflected on a breakthrough triumph.

Pocketing £63,000 for her win, Swan will now face 29th seed Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Murray, who has withdrawn from this year’s Wimbledon owing to his protracted recovery from long-term hip trouble, was not among Swan’s group of supporters that she rushed to embrace.

But she said of the Scot: “He’s been so nice, he helped me with finding Diego (Veronelli) as my coach.

“Every couple of weeks he’d be asking me about how things were going and how the set-up was. We went out to lunch once and had a team dinner in Eastbourne.

“It’s so nice and almost surreal being in his company, he was my idol growing up. Winning here is something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl. But it’s the first round.

“I’m really happy that I managed to come through, but it isn’t the end. I still want to win my next match. I definitely want to keep going in the tournament.”

Harriet Dart (left) went toe to toe with Karolina Pliskova before losing in three sets
Harriet Dart (left) went toe to toe with Karolina Pliskova before losing in three sets (John Walton/PA)

The 21-year-old Londoner shook off a nasty-looking leg injury to push seventh seed Pliskova to a third set before going down 7-6 (7/2) 2-6 6-1.

Dart, ranked at number 171, said: “My short-term goal is to try to get my ranking up. That’s really what I try and focus on. Obviously I would love to be back here. This year I’ve been very fortunate that I had a wild card into this tournament. I was very excited. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience.”

Of the two British men in action, Liam Broady pushed former finalist Milos Raonic for a set before losing 14 of the last 15 games in a 7-5 6-0 6-1 defeat.

Cameron Norrie lost out to former British player Aljaz Bedene
Cameron Norrie lost out to former British player Aljaz Bedene (John Walton/PA)

He said: “I have never played someone with a serve that big before. From the start of the match, I think the first game he went 136, 138mph. It’s pretty crazy. I was almost just looking at the ball bouncing against the back fence. What’s just happened there?”

Broady is hoping to emulate the rise of his fellow left-hander Cameron Norrie, who has soared from outside the top 200 to number 74 in the world in the past year.

This time Norrie joined Broady in exiting the tournament, going down 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 to former countryman Aljaz Bedene, who has returned to representing Slovenia.

Norrie 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. I think I played well, and he just played more clutch than me in both tie-breaks, was more aggressive, and showed his experience today.”

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