Flora Johnson

Flora Johnson revelling in lack of expectations at Wimbledon

Flora Johnson is revelling in her own lack of expectations after notching her first win at Wimbledon.

The 17-year-old made an SW19 debut to remember, fighting back from 3-0 down to beat seventh seed Alena Kovackova 6-4 6-2 in the girls’ singles first round.

Johnson was given a wildcard into the event but was confident she had the level to cause her opponent problems.

And she proved that to be the case after letting her nerves settle after the first few games.

She said: “I wanted to make sure I had a really good warm-up, sweating before I went on court. I thought it would help but I did go 3-0 down so maybe it didn’t work that much!

“When the crowd is behind you it is more relaxing. This is my first Grand Slam and I haven’t ever played anything this big.

“It was a shock even getting the wildcard. It is great when you feel like you have everyone behind you on every point. It is just unreal.

“I was just thinking ‘I am a wildcard, I have got nothing to lose.’ I was trying to think of the positives, I was playing someone ranked seven in the world, I was the underdog. I just tried to relax a bit more.

“It is always tougher expecting to win, if you go in relaxed, having high standards but low expectations then you can play well.

“I felt confident. I played Roehampton last week and even though I lost in the first round, I played the winner so I had a tough draw and I felt I was head-to-head with her so I wasn’t nervous about the level.”

Johnson has enjoyed a surge up the junior rankings this year, moving from outside the top 500 to inside the top 200 thanks to some strong performances.

The 17-year-old from Putney is combining her tennis with her A-Levels, for which she is studying Maths, Economics, and French.

Johnson admits finding a balance is difficult but believes has found a happy medium and is looking forward to enjoying the rest of her Wimbledon experience.

“It is tough to balance them both but I get around it somehow,” she added. “Maybe my teachers won’t agree but I think I do!

“I was just coming in to just enjoy the experience. I am not really thinking about trying to make semis or anything, these girls are amazing they are the best in the world. It is definitely going to be tough but I am super looking forward to it.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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