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Moore hails mental coach after Wimbledon breakthrough

Britain Tennis - Aegon International - Devonshire Park, Eastbourne - 20/6/16 Great Britain's Tara Moore during the first round Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Peter Cziborra Livepic
Britain Tennis - Aegon International - Devonshire Park, Eastbourne - 20/6/16Great Britain's Tara Moore during the first roundMandatory Credit: Action Images / Peter CziborraLivepic

(Reuters) - Tara Moore praised the influence of her mental coach Tony Lekic after the Briton registered a first ever singles victory at a grand slam tournament when she beat Alison Van Uytvanck in the opening round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Coming into the grasscourt tournament ranked 227th in the world, the wildcard overcame the Belgian ranked 100 places above her 6-3 6-2 to set up a second round encounter against Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"It's been a great benefit. He doesn't just help me with on-court stuff. There's a lot of off-court stuff that people don't see, a lot of behind the scenes things that are tough to handle for a tennis player," Moore told British media.

"We travel a lot. We're away from loved ones and friends a lot. That's really difficult. Tennis is so difficult without all the little things. He's definitely there to help with the little things. That's been monumental for me."

Moore said she also drew inspiration from 772nd-ranked British qualifier Marcus Willis' win over Lithuanian world number 54 Ricardas Berankis, which set up a second round encounter against seven-time champion Roger Federer.

"I was watching, cheering and screaming at the screen. Willis has done so great. For sure it was an inspiration," Moore said.

"The British players are very supportive of each other and push each other on. I definitely think (British) tennis is on the up."

The 23-year-old will also team up with Switzerland's Conny Perrin for a women's doubles first round clash against Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino and Puerto Rican Monica Puig on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)

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