Wimbledon 2013: British flops leave Andy Murray in spotlight

Updated: 24 June 2013 21:16 IST

Andy Murray hadn't even started his bid to end Britain's 77-year wait for a male singles' champion at Wimbledon before a host of his compatriots had crashed out of the grasscourt Grand Slam on Monday.

London:

Andy Murray hadn't even started his bid to end Britain's 77-year wait for a male singles' champion at Wimbledon before a host of his compatriots had crashed out of the grasscourt Grand Slam on Monday.

With world number two Murray not due to face Germany's Benjamin Becker on Centre Court until late on Monday, there was an opportunity for the US Open champion's less celebrated fellow countrymen and women to prove the Scot doesn't have a monopoly on British tennis talent.

However, they failed to rise to the challenge as four Brits crashed out in the first hours of the tournament.

Elena Baltacha was first to go, losing 6-4, 6-1 to experienced Italian Flavia Pennetta.

Baltacha, ranked one place below Pennetta at 167 in the world, only returned in April from eight months on the sidelines following ankle surgery, during which time she changed her mind about retiring.

But this was the former British number one's 12th appearance at Wimbledon -- nine of which came via a wildcard -- and she has now failed to advance beyond the first round on six occasions.

Despite that, the £23,500 prize money awarded to first round losers means her career earnings for repeated failure at Wimbledon are a staggering £150,000.

No wonder the British government's Sport England organisation last week warned they are considering cutting Lawn Tennis Association funding due to a failure to produce enough talent at grassroots level.

Baltacha, 29, insisted she had nothing to apologise for, saying: "I knew going into the match that if someone has been 10 in the world, has been around for a long time, they're going to be dangerous.

"I had patches where I played well but it just wasn't consistent enough. I think the serve let me down today.

"I've still got another three or four years. We'll see what happens. I'm happy with what I've achieved, but I think I can do more. I'm just hoping I won't run out of time."

Kyle Edmund has been touted as an emerging talent with the potential to emulate Murray's achievements, but the teenager was given a harsh lesson in his 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 defeat against Polish 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz.

The South Africa-born 18-year-old, the only teenager in the main draw, is ranked 363 places before Janowicz and the disparity was clear to see in a one hour and 27 minute demolition.

Samantha Murray's first taste of Wimbledon was a short and sharp one as she was sent packing in the first round by Camila Giorgi.

Murray, who is the British number seven and no relation to namesake Andy, went down 6-3 6-4 to her Italian opponent.

And she was soon followed out by Australian-born Johana Konta, who lost 6-2, 7-5 against Serbian 16th seed Jelena Jankovic.

Topics : Tennis Wimbledon 2013 Andy Murray
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