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Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July


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Monday, 3 July 2017 18:49 PM BST
Konta clears first hurdle with revenge win
British No.1 shakes off injury fears to dismiss Hsieh, who knocked her out of the French Open READ MORE

Johanna Konta, the No.6 seed, and Aljaz Bedene moved into the Wimbledon second round for only the second time in their careers with wildly different British victories.

Konta recorded an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh, who had inflicted an opening round defeat on the British No.1 at the French Open, taking just over an hour while Bedene needed 4hrs 25 mins to overcome No.21 seed Ivo Karlovic 6-7(5),7-6 (6), 6-7(7), 7-6(7), 8-6 in a match that delighted the No.3 Court crowd.

Karlovic, 38, went into the match having recently fired off his 12,000th ace and delivered another 44 in their first round match but could not dominate Bedene, the former Slovenia player, who has now announced himself very loudly to the British tennis public.

Bedene said: "Every five-set win feels the best and there was just one break of serve in the match. It wasn’t easy to see near the end, and he was getting tired and all he could do was serve. I was just hoping we finished today. I know the big guys get tired quicker and felt I would get a chance and managed to break at the end. I was getting goosebumps with everyone in the crowd clapping and it felt like a home win.”         

Bedene will face Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in the second round.

Konta came into the Championships with concerns the heavy fall she suffered in Eastbourne that forced her to withdraw from her semi-final with a spinal injury would be a factor in this match. However, her early powerful forehands and movement along the baseline showed she was ready for a revenge mission which took just 64 minutes to complete.

Hsieh is unusual in that she plays both forehand and back hands two handed which gives her the ability to hit the ball very flat which takes time away from her opponent. Konta looked the more assured against a player who has dropped from a career high No.23 to her current position as No.113 and after the players exchanged breaks, it was the home favourite who took control with another break in the fifth game.

Konta, winner of titles in Miami and Sydney this year, took the set after 32 minutes 6-2 courtesy of four games in a row and then broke her Taipei opponent in the third game of the second set to make an early statement in the evening sun before wrapping up victory with her third match point. Having made the semi-finals of the 2016 Australian Open, Konta knows what it takes to go deep into a Slam and said: "I am very happy to come through that match because she is a tricky player who beat me at the French Open. I am feeling well after the injury and it is a massive compliment that people think I have a chance here.

"I am definitely entered in this event to perform the best that I can. I am really working incredibly hard to be involved as long as I can."

Konta was joined in the second round by Fed Cup team mate Heather Watson whose wild card was fully justified with a 6-1, 7-6 win over Belgium’s Maryna Zanevska, the world No.119. Watson is determined to get back into the top 50 but currently stands at No.102. However, a good run in the Championships is possible on this form and Watson showed great courage in the second set tie break to move into the second round.

Watson said: "I feel there's been a change the last couple months. I feel more settled. I have my coaching team sorted out now, and I'm happy with it. I feel that because of that I've had structure in my practices. I've just been enjoying my tennis a lot more."

In contrast, Laura Robson, the former Wimbledon junior girls' champion, whose career in the senior ranks has been shaped by a wrist operation, suffered a 6-4, 6-2 first round loss to Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia on Court 18. The arena was surrounded by fans eager to see Robson make the most of her wild card but today was one of those matches the world No.189 will want to forget every quickly.

Robson admitted: "I do feel like I let myself down a bit out there. I just never really let myself get into the match and I was a bit overwhelmed with nerves when I first got out there, then tried to play too perfect when really I didn't need to go for so much."

Naomi Broady was another British wild card to exit at the first round stage as she lost 6-4,6-2 to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.

Cameron Norrie discovered just how good the best players in the sport are as he lost 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to No.12 seed Jo Wilfried Tsonga on No.2 Court. Norrie, No.221 in the world, was making his Grand Slam debut and this experience is all part of the learning curve he must face.

He said: "Such a great experience playing someone like Tsonga. I was happy with the way I started the match. He served great throughout the match, and he didn't really give me a chance to get into the match with his serve. I just wanted to just prove to him and prove to everyone else about my level.”

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