For years, British tennis fans haven’t had anyone to get behind at Wimbledon, beyond one or two favourites. Based in London, the tournament regularly sees a host of lesser-known British names taking part, thanks to wildcards. However, the state of British tennis has often meant that, aside from Andy Murray, and the likes of Johanna Konta from time to time, there hasn’t been too much for fans to enjoy in terms of homegrown talent.
The last few years have seen a sea change, however. Emma Raducanu introduced herself to the British public with an impressive run at Wimbledon last year, before going on to win the US Open, and British entrants are finding themselves getting past the first round with greater regularity. We’ve taken a look at the men’s and women’s singles tournament this year, to see just how well the host of Brits did.
One round and out
There were nine Brits in the first round of the men’s draw, and eight in the women’s event. In an impressive showing, six of the nine British men qualified for the second round, while four of the eight women managed the same.
The surprise of the round was the elimination of Dan Evans. The 28th seed lost in straight sets to Australian qualifier Jason Kubler, and Evans will be disappointed with that result. Paul Jubb managed to take Nick Kyrgios the distance in their match, before being knocked out, while Jay Clarke departed after a straight-sets defeat to American qualifier Christian Harrison.
Yuriko Miyazaki managed to take Carolina Garcia to a third set before losing while Katie Swan, in the same section of the draw, lost in three sets to Marta Kostyuk. Jodie Burrage will be disappointed with her straight-sets defeat to Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, bowing out in relatively meek fashion, while Sonay Kartal, who qualified as a wildcard, lost to Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove of the Netherlands.
Second round successes
With a sizable number of Brits still in the tournament, the British public licked their lips at the prospect of ten Brits taking part in the second round. Of course, all eyes were on Murray, who got past Australia’s James Duckworth in the first round.
However, to the disappointment of the Wimbledon faithful, he couldn’t replicate that result, and the USA’s John Isner played the pantomime villain as he defeated Murray in four sets. Ryan Penniston lost in straight sets to Steve Johnson, while Australian Alex de Minaur had too much for Jack Draper who won the first set, before losing in four. Alistair Gray also departed, although a straight-sets loss to 11th seed Taylor Fritz isn’t a result to be ashamed of.
There was good news however, with two British men seeing success. Cam Norrie, who would carry British hopes of success in the tournament, got past Spain’s Jaume Munar in straight sets. He looked comfortable, and his early showings had him well backed on the online betting on skybet.com. Meanwhile, Liam Broady pulled off a very impressive win against Diego Schwartzmann. He won the first set, before the 12th seed pulled two back, but a great showing from Broady saw him clinch the last two to reach the third round.
In the women’s draw, Harriet Dart showed plenty of fight before losing to eighth seed Jessica Pegula, while Raducanu departed in the second round, to the disappointment of many, as Garcia beat her in straight sets, taking another British scalp in the process. However, Heather Watson dispatched Wang Qiang of China in straight sets, and wildcard Katie Boulter impressively caught the eye when she came back from a set down to knock out Karolína Plíšková. The Czech was the sixth seed, and many would have expected her to sail past Boulter after picking up the first set but, like many of her compatriots, Boulter showed a lot of heart to stay in the fight.
Third round and onwards
There were four Brits left in the third round, two in each event. Broady had earned a match against de Minaur and, after his success against Schwartzmann, some wondered whether he could get past the Australian, taking revenge for de Minaur’s defeat of his fellow Brit in the second round. Sadly, it was a bridge too far for Broady, who lost in straight sets to the Australian.
It was better news for Norrie, however. The British number one knocked out America’s Steve Johnson in straight sets. Having already beaten two Spaniards, he went on to beat a second American, as he beat 30th seed Tommy Paul in the fourth round, to earn his place in the second week of the tournament.
The women’s’ side of the draw didn’t see any Brits make the quarter-finals of the competition. Boulter wasn’t able to repeat her heroics, losing in straight sets to Harmony Tan in the third round. Watson was able to go one better, beating Kava Juvan in the third round before losing to Germany’s Jule Niemeier at the end of the first week.
Wimbledon 2022 was a marked change from previous tournaments, with plenty of action for British tennis fans to get caught up in during the first week. Broady’s win over Schwartzmann and Boulter’s defeat of Plíšková were standout moments of the tournament. With several of the Brits taking part still relatively young, many will be hoping that this year’s improved performances are a sign of better things to come.