Cowan wins battle of the Brits

Barry Cowan won the battle of the Brits against Mark Hilton to line up a second-round clash with reigning Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras.

The 26-year-old from Lancashire had too much power for Hilton, making his Wimbledon singles debut, winning 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

It had started so well for Hilton, a 20-year-old from Chester, as he achieved the first break of serve to lead 2-1.

But Cowan forced his way back into the match, dominating his opponent who at 5ft 7ins is seven inches shorter in height.

Cowan broke back immediately and then took control, winning four games on the trot and finally the first set.

It was much the same story in the second set, with two consecutive double faults by Hilton allowing Cowan to break serve in the first game.

As Hilton struggled to achieve any consistency with his first serve, Cowan relied on his power and accuracy to take the second set 6-2.

All Hilton could take as consolation was that much of his baseline play was excellent.

Though Cowan too rarely ventured to the net, his consistent serving made him too hot to handle.

Hilton finally discovered some rhythm in the third set, but it was not enough to prevent his rival taking the match.

Both players dominated their service games and Hilton did well to force the final set into a tie-break, where Cowan's consistency proved decisive, and he won 7-2.

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