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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
British women march on
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Anna Keothavong
Keothavong came through in straight sets

Anne Keothavong became the first Briton to reach the second round with victory over Australia's Nicole Pratt.

The 20-year-old recovered from a break down and a brief rain delay to take the opening set 6-3 with a series of flashing forehands.

Pratt put Keothavong under pressure at the start of the second but again the Briton responded with some powerful strokes to take the set 6-1.

The Londoner's triumph sees her reach the second round for the first time in four attempts.

"I think the rain delay helped me enormously," she said. "I was pretty nervous when I went out there but I think that's understandable.

"I was more aggressive than she was, going for my shots more. It's nice to finally get a win under my belt.

"This is the best I've felt coming into the tournament. I definitely feel more mature in the way I play but I'm just taking it one match at a time.

"I guess it's the best win of my career. She's certainly the highest ranked player I've beaten."

Emily Webley-Smith gave home fans something else to cheer about as she advanced to the next round with a 7-6 6-4 victory over Severine Beltrame.

The 19-year-old showed no signs of nerves on her Wimbledon debut to take 3-0 lead but a lapse in concentration let the Frenchwoman break back.

Webley-Smith regained her composure and produced some driving backhand passing shots to clinch the tie-break 7-2.

And in a tight third set the Bristol player held on with growing confidence.

"I smashed my ankle to pieces playing tennis and I only got back on court in January," revealed Webley-Smith afterwards.

"Now I've come back with a different attitude to the sport because it is just great to be here.

"I'm really excited to win. I felt nervous when I woke up this morning but I knew I could do well if I played my game."

Fellow Brit Amanda Janes paid for the rain delays as she lost to 11th seed Ai Sugiyama.

The 26-year-old from Essex stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first set, missed three chances to lead 4-0 but was 4-1 ahead when rain intervened.

She returned to take the set 6-3 but Sugiyama was clearly refreshed and stormed through the second set 6-2.

The third went with serve and Janes saved another break point after another rain delay but Sugiyama broke to go 5-3 up, and served out to win 3-6 6-2 6-3.

"I was pleased with the way I was playing," said Janes. "But she came out stronger and came to the net more.

"She was much sharper in the second set but I was not able to impose myself as I had been. She had moved on to a higher level that I could not match."

Arvind Parmar made a first-round exit for the third year running, at the hands of Gilles Elseneer of Belgium.

The Briton was in trouble early on as Elseneer sent a forehand cross-court pass to break for 3-1 up and, though he broke back, Parmar lost a tie-break.

Parmar was well-placed to win the second at 5-4 but Elseneer saved two set points and won another tie-break.

The third went with serve but Elseneer won another tie-break to claim a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) victory.

Jamie Delgado suffered a disappointing first round exit when he lost 6-1 6-3 6-3 to Filippo Volandri.

Before a dwindling crowd on Court 11, which shrunk when England's match with Croatia started, Delgado never clicked into gear and slipped out quietly.

It was a blow for Delgado, who had fought his way through qualifying to secure his place this year.

It also means he has never been beyond the second round in seven appearances at the Championships.

Interview: Anne Keothavong
Interview: Anne Keothavong

Wimbledon: Day one highlights

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