Brilliant Boulter best of British

Rising British star Katie Boulter continued her recent fine form with a thrilling victory over 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova on Centre Court on Thursday to progress to the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

On another eventful day at SW19, there was also a victory for another Brit, Heather Watson, as she too made the third round of the women’s singles.

After both Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray were dumped out on Wednesday, the British contingent needed to raise spirits on Thursday and they did just that, with Boulter’s display, in particular, catching the eye.

The 25-year-old, who is 66/1 to win the tournament, recovered from a leg injury to impress at the WTA Birmingham Classic earlier this summer, where she defeated Alison Riske and Caroline Garcia and, after seeing off Pliskova at the Eastbourne International, she has now again got the better of the world number seven at Wimbledon.

Recovering from a set down, the Briton, currently ranked 118 in the world, eventually won 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and will next play Frenchwoman Harmony Tan, who beat Serena Williams in the first round.

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A delighted Boulter said: “I have absolutely no words right now. I am literally shaking. The crowd was unbelievable so thank you for getting me through that.”

Watson, meanwhile, is also through to the third round – matching her best-ever performance in the tournament – after a straight-sets victory over China’s Wang Qiang and will take on Slovenian Kaja Juvan next.

In the men’s draw, Stockport-born Liam Broady was the toast of the home fans on Thursday too after he overcame 12th seed Diego Schwartzman in five sets but there was disappointment for two Brits as Alastair Gray went down in straight sets to 11th seed Taylor Fritz, while Harriet Dart was beaten in three sets by eighth seed Jessica Pegula.

Elsewhere on day four of the competition, women’s world number one and top seed Iga Swiatek (11/8 – Tournament Outright) moved safely into the third round after she beat Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (12/1 Outright) had earlier beaten Jordan Thompson, also in straight sets, in his second-round tie.

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