Charles Broom’s Wimbledon debut ended in a straight-sets loss to three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

The St Albans player earned himself a wild card by reaching the final of the Challenger Tour event in Nottingham last month and the outcome might have been different had he managed to win the second set.

But he tightened up at the wrong moment and Wawrinka completed a 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory in an hour and 49 minutes, becoming just the 10th man in the open era to win a singles match at the championship aged 39 or over.

Among those cheering on Broom were two friends from his time at college in the United States who flew over on Monday morning, with one of them not even able to stay the night because of work commitments.

“A couple of them came to me before the match,” said Broom. “I saw he was wearing an ‘I love Charlie Broom’ shirt. I was like, ‘Mate, you have to take that one off. You can’t.’ But he stuck with that one on, which was nice.

“They loved it. Certainly I want to spend some time with them and make them feel like they’ve had a good journey.”

This was by far the biggest moment of 26-year-old Broom’s career, and he settled well after a nervous start on Court Two.

He likens his scampering style to former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, and he began to exert some real pressure on Wawrinka at the beginning of the second set.

He led 3-0 after breaking serve and had four set points, but he could not take any of them, with the occasion proving a bit too much, and a flurry of backhand winners from Wawrinka saw him win five games in a row.

He extended that to eight games at the start of the third set before Broom began a fightback, but Wawrinka served it out convincingly.

There were tinges of regret but also a big smile afterwards on the face of Broom, who said: “I’m certainly a little bit disappointed, but honestly just an immense sense of pride to be able to play here and I pushed him pretty close. Hopefully it won’t be my last time here.”