Wimbledon 2018: Broady ready to make the most of Centre Court chance

Naomi Broady is determined to enjoy every second of her Centre Court experience at Wimbledon.

The British number four beat Hungary’s Timea Babos to reach the second round four years ago, before exiting to Caroline Wozniacki on Number One Court.

But, after receiving a wildcard, a draw against defending women’s champion Garbiñe Muguruza means she’ll look to play more than just a supporting role in Tuesday’s first match on Centre Court.

“I am extremely lucky that the All England Club supports me and believes in my tennis,” said the world number 138.

“I owe so much of my career to them because without their wild cards I couldn’t have afforded to carrying on playing tennis.

“I’m just trying to keep persisting and trying to stay strong mentally. I won’t lose faith in my game and the journey I am on.”

After reaching last year’s semi-finals, Johanna Konta takes her Wimbledon campaign against Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva as the first match on court two as she seeks to join Katie Swan in the second round.

The British women’s number one insists Wimbledon’s home comforts are giving her confidence after some mixed form but knows Vikhlyantseva is determined to spoil the mood.

“I don’t know her very well at all but I practiced with her once,” she said.

“She’s a player with a big game and I know she has big shots. However, I think I’m getting better and better. I feel like I’m playing more consistently at the level I want.”

Kyle Edmund’s status as the new British men’s number one is rewarded with a show court slot, as he takes on Australian qualifier Alex Bolt in the first match on Number One Court.

Absent Andy Murray jokingly offered to help anyone out as a coach during the next fortnight but Edmund is determined to be his own man.

And he knows his new status brings a bright spotlight.

He said: “I understand that they’ll be more expectation, when you become British number one or get into the world’s top 20, people naturally want more from you.

“It shows you’re doing well and you have to embrace it. If you don’t want the responsibility of having expectation, I guess professional sport isn’t really for you.”

Elsewhere, British women’s number two Heather Watson will look to level her record with Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens, with their encounter scheduled fourth on court 12.

The Belgian beat Watson in the women’s doubles at Wimbledon last year but the pair are level in their previous two singles matches.

Watson has fallen just outside the world’s top 100 but has fond memories of the All England Club, reaching the third round for the third time in her career last year – and famously pushing Serena Williams the distance three years ago.

Elsewhere, British women’s number six Gabrielle Taylor takes on Eugenie Bouchard in the second match on court 14.

The Canadian reached the final four years ago but has plummeted down the rankings and needed to come through qualifying last week

British women’s number three Katie Boulter, who lost to Flipkens in the final of a challenger tournament in Southend last month, follows Taylor on court for a clash with Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg.

And Jay Clarke – the British men’s number five – will make his main draw debut against Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis, a six-time ATP Tour winner and former world number ten.

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