Jodie Burrage glides to victory in first-ever Grand Slam win
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Jodie Burrage achieved her first main draw win at a Grand Slam after ousting America’s Caty McNally 6-1, 6-3 on the opening day of Wimbledon.
Burrage, who recently became British No.2, was moved to tears after sealing one of the biggest wins of her career at her home Slam.
"I haven't got a lot of words," said Burrage. "I'm just very happy. I think the smile says it all. Yeah, just happy to get through that, my first win at Wimbledon.
"I'm shaking like you can't believe. That one meant a lot. It was actually a lot of relief. It took me a few match points to get over the line. It's never simple with me.
"I'm very happy with how I played, how I handled myself on court. I really enjoyed every moment of it, and hopefully can take that into the next match."
The Briton’s win today caps off a memorable season on the grass so far, having defeated topflight players including Poland’s Magda Linette to reach her first WTA Final at the Rothesay Open Nottingham.
“I gained a lot of confidence in Nottingham, but I’m just looking to the next match now,” Burrage said after her scintillating run on the grass buoyed her to victory at SW19.
Speaking on her recent injuries, she added: “It hasn’t been easy. It’s been my biggest battle, but I have worked really hard, and I feel like I’m in a good place.
"After my third ankle operation, my mind had decided that that was it. I was going to go to an American university, get a degree there, have a great life. Would have really enjoyed it and loved it. But that was my tennis career done.
"You know, somehow got back on the horse with help from family and friends, and my boyfriend as well, like, really helped push through that not so-nice time.
"To sit here saying I've won my first round at Wimbledon, hopefully going to be in the top hundred in two weeks, yeah, not expecting that, but very happy that it's happened. I hope this is the start of a really good run.”
The Briton blitzed through the first set on court 12, claiming four consecutive games before the American delivered her first hold of the match.
Despite McNally, ranked 67, getting a game on the board, Burrage held her nerve, winning seven of six of seven games to seal the advantage.
McNally tuned to her strengths in the second set, finding her feet at the net to earn her first three break points before eventually converting the break to unsettle the home favourite.
Yet, the London-born star refused to let her advantage slip as she immediately pulled herself back into the set before clinging onto a crucial hold to see out the match.
Burrage is slated to play six-time wta title-winner and world No.10 Daria Kasatkina, in the second round on Wednesday.
"Yeah, haven't thought about it much," Burrage said, looking ahead to the second round. "Obviously she's a great player. She made finals last week in Eastbourne. It's going to be a very tough match. But I'll go out there, give my all, fight like I always do, and see what happens."
Wild card Liam Broady also joins Burrage in advancing to the second round after beating the world No.74, France’s Constant Lestienne, 6-1, 6-3, 7-5. He's also joined by fellow wild card Jan Choinski - who claimed a career-best win over Dusan Lajovic 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2.