Wimbledon 2011: Katie O'Brien falls to Kimiko Date-Krumm in round one

Wimbledon Championships

Venue:
All England Club, London
Date:
20 June-3 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, Two, 3D, HD, Red Button, online (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary from 0900 BST on BBC Sport website (#bbctennis); watch again on iPlayer
Katie O'Brien
O'Brien has made the second round only once in eight appearance

Katie O'Brien became the first player to lose at Wimbledon 2011 with defeat by Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm in the opening match on the new Court Three.

The British number four went down 6-0 7-5, her seventh round-one humbling in eight wildcard appearances at SW19.

Date-Krumm, the draw's oldest player at 40 years and 277 days, next plays Venus Williams who beat Akgul Amanmuradova.

Anne Keothavong's match with fellow Briton Naomi Broady was cancelled for Monday because of rain.

Compatriot Dan Cox was trailing Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3 0-1 when the downpours arrived.

Elena Baltacha, Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Emily Webley-Smith and Dan Evans are all scheduled to feature on Tuesday.

But it was a disappointing start to the Championships for the host nation following O'Brien's comprehensive loss.

"It's no fun at the moment, so I would have to make some big improvements if I'm going to continue what I'm doing," said the 25-year-old, ranked 215th.

"A year or so ago I was seriously considering stepping away from the game. But tennis is my passion, so that would be really hard for me to do.

"I'm not enjoying life on the challenger tour at the moment, it's no fun, but I'm prepared to work hard."

O'Brien used social networking site Twitter on Sunday to express her excitement at the prospect of gracing the All England Club's newest arena.

And the right-hander from Beverley was all smiles during a short pre-match ceremony in which the court was officially unveiled.

But those smiles swiftly turned to frowns as O'Brien, playing her first main draw match on the WTA Tour this year, sent down a double fault to see her serve broken in game one.

Date-Krumm, the third-oldest woman to compete at Wimbledon in the Open Era, was dictating the tempo with a series of heavy forehands, sliced backhands and approaches to the net.

A volleyed put-away enabled her to collect game two before O'Brien's delivery crumbled once more to hand over the double break.

World number 57 Date-Krumm held serve to love for 4-0 and delivered a sumptuous drop volley to move further ahead. A superb drive volley sealed the love set.

Whether it was the new surroundings, the unusually low ball bounce or Date Krumm's clear superiority, O'Brien looked ill-at-ease in the 17-minute opener.

However, she seemed to compose herself at the changeover and picked up a morale-boosting service hold at the beginning of the second set.

An easy crosscourt backhand pass helped Date-Krumm strike in game three, yet O'Brien hit straight back and overturned breaks on two further occasions to level at 5-5.

But the decisive blow came in game 11 as Date-Krumm moved to 6-5, and the 1996 semi-finalist, who made her Wimbledon debut in 1989, served out to love.

She becomes the fifth-oldest woman to win a match at any Grand Slam in the Open Era, while O'Brien has now won only one of her 19 matches against players ranked in the top-60.

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