Nick Bollettieri stepped away from his desk in The Independent's corner of the Wimbledon media bunker and declared he was headed to court 18.
Monica Puig, a 19-year-old Puerto Rican, was taking on No 5 seed Sara Errani. 'She's one of ours,' said the octogenarian coaching guru. 'I want to give her some support'.
Bollettieri, a long-time visitor to Puerto Rico, where he coached for 17 winters, added: “It's easy for me to be part of the team because her full-time coach (Alain de Vos) has welcomed me in.”
Bollettieri was rewarded with a giant-killing performance from the teenager who brushed Errani aside 6-3, 6-2. There were some nerves as she blew six match points to put away the shrieking Italian in two very long closing games, before securing the match on her seventh.
Puig, who has never passed the second round at Wimbledon, meets Silvia Soler-Espino in that stage the Spaniard having defeated Misaki Doi, of Japan, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The joy expressed by Puig was not shared by the veteran Elena Baltacha who became the first Briton to depart Wimbledon going down 6-4, 6-1 to Italy's Flavia Pennetta. The former British No.1, who pondered retirement after undergoing surgery last summer following the Olympics, was brushed aside losing the second set in 33 minutes.
Kyle Edmund, the Yorkshire teenager who won the French junior title, followed Baltacha onto court three to make his Grand Slam debut. Edmund begun encouragingly against 24-seeded Jerzy Janowicz taking a 2-1 lead, however, the Pole then broke twice to take the first set 6-2 in 25 minutes.
On a cold and cloudy opening day five more Brits were due on court, Jamie Ward, Johanna Konta, Samantha Murray, Anne Keothavong and Andy Murray.Reuse content