Wimbledon: Katie Boulter, Liam Broady and Heather Watson win on a good day for British players

Event: All England Club Dates: June 27-July 10
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TV and the mobile app.

British wild card Katie Boulter delighted Wimbledon Center Court with a stunning comeback to beat 2021 runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

After a 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win, Boulter fought back tears as he revealed his grandmother Jill died two days ago.

“I’m going to get very emotional. I’d like to dedicate it to her,” he said after securing his best Grand Slam career.

fellow british Liam Broady Y heather watson He also picked up memorable victories on Thursday to reach the third round.

Wildcard Broady, 28, won 6-2, 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 over Argentine No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman to also record his best performance in a major.

Britain’s number four Watson, 30, matched her best Wimbledon singles performance with a 7-5, 6-4 victory against China’s Wang Qiang.

There was the possibility of an all-British matchup between world number 132 Broady and Jack Draper in the last 32, but the 20-year-old was beaten by 19th-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur.

Entering directly into the men’s draw for the first time, Draper won the first set before de Minaur’s increased experience and stamina allowed him to take control.

Draper was only playing his third Grand Slam match, compared to his opponent’s 44th, ending with a 5-7, 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-3 loss.

Boulter watched from De Minaur’s box, 23, and stood to applaud as her boyfriend reached the third round of Wimbledon for the second time in his career.

Another British departure came when harriet dart she lost to eighth seed Jessica Pegula, and the American fought back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

british joker alastair Gray, ranked 288th and making his men’s singles debut at the All England Club, he had chances against 11th-seeded American Taylor Fritz before falling to a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 loss.

Boulter shows quality and determination amid pain

Boulter, once the exciting emerging talent in the British women’s game, is trying to rebuild her career after it was cut short by injury problems in recent years.

The British No. 3 reached a career-high No. 82 in the world rankings and was on an upward trajectory before her injury woes began in early 2019.

Boulter, now ranked 118th, showed she still has the talent to beat the best when she scored the biggest win of her career against world number seven Pliskova at Eastbourne last week.

Now the 25-year-old has eclipsed that with another win over the former Czech world number one, this time on one of the sport’s biggest stages and against a backdrop of personal pain.

Boulter struggled for words in the on-court interview immediately after she sealed the victory, with an ecstatic crowd that initially thought it was due solely to the magnitude of her achievement.

When asked later about his grandmother, Boulter said: “Her favorite tournament was Wimbledon. That’s why it’s special to me. I watched every match that was on TV.”

“It’s been a tough few days for sure. I’ve tried to get my emotions out and deal with the situation, try to keep my head in tennis.

“I was lucky because my grandfather managed to come from Leicester, so we were able to keep him company and continue to support him at the same time.”

When Boulter won the second set, the family members who supported her from her box, including her mother Sue, her brother James and her grandfather, shared emotional and jubilant hugs.

It was a similar scene when Boulter scored a memorable victory with a net volley.

Shaking both fists in the air, Boulter smiled as he looked at his family and moments later revealed why the celebrations meant so much.

On Saturday, she will try to reach the Round of 16 when she takes on France’s Harmony Tan.

Tan, who made her Wimbledon main draw debut this year, beat American great Serena Williams in the first round and backed up that memorable victory with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

“It’s a dream come true for me and if I can get them behind me for those, I can probably go a long way,” Boulter, who lost on the same stage at the 15,000-capacity exhibition court last year, told the center court crowd. .

‘My heart is always there: Broady’s brilliant response

British number five Broady is finally starting to reap the rewards of a more professional outlook as he celebrated making the last 32 of a major at the seventh attempt.

A promising youngster who reached the 2011 Wimbledon men’s final, Broady won his first ATP Challenger title last year and reached a career-high ranking of 116th earlier this season.

The southpaw has achieved several more notable milestones this season, including qualifying for a first appearance at the Australian Open, and has spoken about how his fortunes have improved after limiting his night outs.

Now, his increased dedication has translated into one of the most unforgettable days of his career in front of a jubilant home crowd.

Broady was down two sets to one, and it was a break in the fourth, after 2020 French Open semi-finalist Schwartzman had won 11 games in a row.

But he rallied to win a fourth-set tie-break and then sealed victory by winning the final five games of the decider.

“Sometimes I have a little trouble putting the ball on the court, but my heart is always there,” said Broady, who initially walked off the court before realizing he had to give a winning interview on the court.

“With everyone there it was amazing and there was no way I was going to give up.”

Watson equals best Wimbledon despite little sleep

The 30-year-old Watson needed just one game to wrap up the victory in a game stopped by darkness on Wednesday.

Watson, who has played singles every day of the tournament and only got four hours of sleep on Wednesday night, will face Slovenian Kaja Juvan on Friday.

“I woke up not feeling very good this morning,” said the world number 121.

“It’s been a really tough few days for me with scheduling. It hasn’t been on my side at all.”

“I just tried to do my best. In every situation, I try to stay positive and in the moment. I feel like I’ve handled it really well.”

Heather Watson has reached the third round of Wimbledon on three previous occasions

Watson, who said he had to take a caffeine gel before playing Wednesday, which affected his sleep, said he might have to take a nap before his doubles match later that day. But that match, in which he plays alongside countryman Dart, was later moved to another day.

In the men’s singles, the 24-year-old Gray served for the second set against Fritz but was ultimately beaten by the recent champion from Eastbourne.

Gray saved two set points in the second set tie break and thought he had saved a third, running away to celebrate after stretching for a forehand volley, but Fritz dove in and managed to get to the ball and send it over the net.

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