Katy Dunne faced a tough clash in the first round of the ladies’ singles at Wimbledon yesterday (Tuesday) but she put up a creditable showing against the number 12 seed and former grand slam champion Jelena Ostapenko.
The 23-year-old, of Flaunden, was drawn against world number 12 and the 12th seed at the championships, Ostapenko, who won the French Open singles title last year.
Dunne, the world number 212 who was making her grand slam debut after being granted a wild card, lost the match 3-6, 6-7 (5-7).
She was realising a childhood dream by playing in the main Wimbledon singles draw and got to grace the hallowed Centre Court towards the end of day two at the championships.
Poised for a decisive victory at a set and 5-3 up, Ostapenko endured a brief wobble against Dunne, who suddenly flipped the script and thrilled the home crowd as she won three games in a row to get within an inch of a deciding set.
The second set went to a tie-break and Dunne fought well, only bowing out 7-5 in the breaker.
Ostapenko, who made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, held her nerve to restore order, making up for 42 unforced errors with 33 winners, several of which came late in the match to ultimately end the hometown favourite’s hopes in straight sets.
Dunne was one of a record number of young female British players to be playing at Wimbledon this year, after the women scooped six of the eight coveted wildcard places. The previous record was set in 2013, when five British women were picked.
Dunne is also be playing in the ladies’ doubles at Wimbledon this year with Harriet Dart, who put up a courageous fight in losing to world number eight Karolina Pliskova on Monday.
They have been drawn against the 16th seeds, experienced Ukrainian world number 79 Kateryna Bondarenko and Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.