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Brit Watch: Clinical Konta powers through, Clarke books Federer date

Brit Watch: Clinical Konta powers through, Clarke books Federer date
By Eurosport

02/07/2019 at 19:08Updated 02/07/2019 at 20:08

British No 1 Johanna Konta reached the second round after overcoming qualifier Ana Bogdan 7-5 6-2 at Wimbledon.

Konta, who reached the French Open semi-finals, needed just 85 minutes out on Court One to set up a showdown with Katerina Siniakova.

The first set proved to be a tight affair against world number 132 Bogdan, but Konta pounced when it mattered, converting her first break point in the 12th game to take the set.

In the second set Konta then saved two break points before edging ahead 4-2, and the 19th seed broke one more time to reach the second round for the fourth straight year at Wimbledon.

After five straight first round defeats Jay Clarke finally tasted victory on Tuesday at Wimbledon of all places, and the lowly ranked Briton’s reward will be the biggest day of his tennis life so far.

The 20-year-old from Derby in England’s midlands beat American qualifier Noah Rubin -- despite squandering six match points -- and will face 20-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the second round.

“I know how tough Noah is to play. I've seen him play a lot of the same challengers as me,” Clarke told reporters after his 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-4 win.

“To beat him would have been a good win. I'd have been happy with that. (Federer) was a bit of extra motivation to get through.”

Clarke cracked 37 clean winners in the first-round match, but in truth his route to the second round was largely aided by the whopping 58 unforced errors which flew from Rubin’s racket.

He knows his next opponent won’t be anywhere near as profligate. And he knows the mountain he will need to climb.

“Obviously I've watched a lot of him (Federer) growing up, so it's not like there's going to be any surprises on what he does,” the Briton told reporters.

“He won juniors the year I was born. I always looked up to him. Tried to copy a lot of the stuff he does.

“It's going to be a fun match. Like I said, no real surprises. Like, I know what to expect. I've seen him play a lot. I just need to get ready for it.”

Britain's Dan Evans reached the Wimbledon second round with a straight sets win over Federico Delbonis.

The 29-year-old, who won a Nottingham challenger event and reached the Eastbourne quarter-finals in the build-up to SW19, came through 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3.

Evans broke immediately as he set the tone for a one-sided affair, swatting away the only two break points he faced in the Argentine’s dismissal.

He could have faced British opposition in round two, but James Ward threw away a two-set lead against 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the corresponding tie.

Ward looked on course for a shock win over the Georgian but failed to see it out as he fell 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-4 8-6.

The Duchess of Cambridge (C) smiles on Court 14

The Duchess of Cambridge (C) smiles on Court 14Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge was among those on Court 14 as Harriet Dart shrugged off the loss of the opening set to defeat American Christina McHale 4-6 6-4 6-4.

British No 2 Cameron Norrie put in an impressive display to see off Denis Istomin in straight sets, winning 6-2 6-4 6-4 in just over two hours on Court 16.

Norrie won the opening three games, including two breaks of serve, as he enjoyed the perfect start against the world number 115, and he went on to drop serve just once en route to victory.

His reward is a tricky second-round meeting with eighth seed Kei Nishikori, with last year’s quarter-finalist at SW19 beating Thiago Monteiro in straight sets.

Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson reached the last 64 with victories on Monday.