Jodie Burrage admits her long-term boyfriend’s professional rugby turmoil hampered her preparation for the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy after suffering a shock defeat against compatriot Lily Miyazaki.
The British No.2 won the first set against her lower-ranked opponent but eventually fell to a 3-6 6-2 6-4 defeat in West London.
Away from the court, Burrage’s partner Ben White plays for Premiership rugby club London Irish, who were suspended from the competition on Tuesday before being placed into administration hours before she took to the Surbiton grass on Wednesday.
Burrage, 24, battled admirably against Miyazaki but was far from her fluent best as she lost to a player ranked almost 100 places below her in the world.
And she candidly admitted White’s current uncertainty inhibited her in the build-up to the match.
She said: “It’s definitely not an easy situation at all.
“I’m lucky enough to be living with him in Richmond. We’ve been like that for two years so it’s going to be an adjustment for us wherever he goes, so that’s tough and that played on my mind a little bit today.
“It’s been quite stressful the last few weeks and it’s really not nice for him either. It’s not nice for anyone at the club because I know quite a few people at there.
“It’s really sad what’s happened – not just the players, but staff and everyone else.”
Burrage, who is supported by the LTA’s PSP Programme, added: “Obviously it is frustrating but it is my first match back [from injury].
“Lily is a good friend and we also have the same coach.
“So it definitely wasn’t an easy match today and not easy circumstances.
“I have not played enough at all, and I am definitely someone who will play when they can, so it has been really frustrating for me”
Miyazaki’s victory means she will face another all-British clash in the last 16 when she takes on her compatriot Eden Silva, both of whom are supported by the LTA’s Pro Access Programme.
Silva beat Mexico’s Marcela Zacarias 6-4 6-4 in the round of 32.
Burrage admits she was relieved to put recent injury struggles behind her and added: “It’s a pretty disappointing day.
“I am happy to be back on the court after a few injuries, it has been a while since I have actually played a match and in that regard I am happy.
“I started alright, but then just not good enough in the end.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website