Brexits? Murray absence puts spotlight on unheralded Brits

London (AFP) –


With Andy Murray pulling out of Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament, the two-time champion's shock absence put the spotlight on his fellow Britons as the grass-court Grand Slam got underway on Monday:

Here AFP Sport looks at how Britain's male and female players fared without Murray to carry the flag at the All England Club:

Harriet Dart

Competing in her first Grand Slam singles match, Dart threatened to cause a major shock before slipping to a 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-1 defeat against Czech world number seven Karolina Pliskova.

Dart has hit her highest singles ranking of 171 this month, reaping the rewards of a restorative move to Turkey after foot and hip injuries, coupled with a bout of pneumonia, had halted her progress.

Despite her defeat in sweltering heat on Court 12, the 21-year-old Londoner acquitted herself well against Pliskova, surviving a leg injury and some off-court treatment to take the second set.

Dart, who was watching from the stands when Murray won his first Wimbledon title in 2013, beat Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna less than a week ago at Eastbourne to secure her first WTA Tour-level victory.

But the former world number one and US Open finalist proved a tougher nut to crack as Pliskova eased to victory in the deciding set.

There's still hope...

There are 12 British men and women in the singles draw.

Later on Monday, world number 173 Liam Broady has a daunting task on Court One when the 24-year-old wild card entry faces Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic, who was beaten by Murray in the 2016 Wimbledon final.

Katie Swan, a wild card ranked 204, plays Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu in women's first round action, while world number 75 Cameron Norrie takes on Aljaz Bedene in the men's event.