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Britain’s wave of young women players aiming to shock at Wimbledon| Sean Ingle

‘There’s a group of us spurring each other on,’ says 19-year-old Katie Swan of herself and Katie Boulter, 21, Katy Dunne, 23, and Harriet Dart, 21. ‘It’s making a big difference’

“The smallest crowd I have played in front of this year? That would be my coach and my opponent’s coach,” says Katie Swan, chuckling away. On Monday, though, the 19-year-old will make the dizzying moon leap from the ITF Pro Circuit – where players do not always get new balls every day, let alone every nine games – to Wimbledon, where she will face the Romanian Irina Camelia?Begu, the world No 33, in the first round. It is a jump the Bristol native intends to make permanent.

But the 19-year-old Swan, a former world junior No 3 with a strong serve, forehand and work ethic, is far from alone. During the next 48 hours a new wave of British players – five of whom are 23 or younger – will be aiming to fast?track their way up the rankings by springing a surprise or two at SW19.

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