British quintet bow out

  • Last Updated: June 23 2014, 19:39 BST

Johanna Konta led a host of British players through the exit door at Wimbledon on the opening day.

Johanna Konta: Beaten in round one
Johanna Konta: Beaten in round one

Konta failed to cement her maiden foray into the women's top 100 by slipping to a niggling first-round defeat to China's Shuai Peng at Wimbledon.

The 23-year-old broke new ground by rising to 96th in the world on Monday, only to lose out 6-4 3-6 6-4 to world number 60 Peng.

She was later joined as a first-round loser by four of Britain's men - Dan Evans, James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Dan Cox in the men's draw.

British hope Konta had earned direct entry into Wimbledon for the first time, but lost out at the opening hurdle due to a string of unforced errors, becoming the first home player to lose on day one.

Konta surrendered the first set in frustrating fashion, slipping up on a fourth break and set point to hand her Chinese opponent a 6-4 victory.

A host of loose errors gifted Peng the opening set, and the British hope quickly underlined her frustrations by claiming an immediate second-set break.

The Sydney-born Brit levelled the match after fending off a recovery from Peng.

Konta relinquished her serve at the start of the deciding set, only to break back immediately.

Peng broke again then held though, and the 28-year-old, who lost to American Sloane Stephens at the French Open, was thereafter able to cruise to victory.

Despite working closely with a sports psychologist, Konta admitted she failed to fend off the Wimbledon jitters.

"In the first set she handled the occasion much better than I did,'' she said.

"I was playing with a little nerves, a lot of tension, I felt. Obviously when you play like that, you can't play at your best level.''

Konta said it was tough to keep the positive aspect of breaking into the top 100 world rankings in mind in defeat.

"I'm not sure if it's consolation,'' she said. "Obviously it's a small milestone for me, so obviously I take a lot of pride in that, am very happy about that.

"But obviously that's not my main goal, I'm very much looking forward, wanting to keep moving forward.''

In the men's draw, British number two Evans fought hard after a poor start against Andrey Kuznetsov but went down in four sets.

Evans, who reached the semi-finals of an ATP tournament in Zagreb earlier this year, went down 6-1 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7/5) on Court Two under gloomy evening skies.

Earlier, Russian 17th seed Mikhail Youzhny showed no mercy in his clash with British number three Ward.

Youzhny routed world number 154 Ward 6-2 6-2 6-1 in the first round, condemning the 27-year-old Londoner to a comprehensive defeat.

Ward, set to pocket £27,000 in consolation after being handed a place in the first round, said: "I thought he played very well and executed his game. I obviously didn't play as well as I would hoped. That was about it, but you've got to take the loss on the chin and move forward.''

Edmund also suffered a straight-sets loss. The teenager, upon whom many hopes have already been placed, went down 6-3 7-6 6-2 to Andreas Haider-Maurer, of Austria.

Cox put up a better fight against world number 42 Jeremy Chardy, pushing the Frenchman to four sets.

Lincoln-born Cox claimed a third-set tie-break to raise hopes of a memorable comeback.

The 23-year-old wildcard entrant was unable to impose his authority any further though, with Chardy easing home 6-2 7-6 (7/3) 6-7 (6/8) 6-3.