Katie Boulter reaches third round at Wimbledon for the second straight year
Katie Boulter battled into the Wimbledon third round for the second straight year and set up a potential meeting with reigning champion Elena Rybakina.
The sole British woman remaining in the singles draw recovered from a second-set wobble to beat Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova 6-0 3-6 6-3 on Court 12.
Watched by Australian boyfriend Alex De Minaur, who won his delayed first-round match earlier on Thursday, Boulter equalled her best showing in SW19.
Tomova is ranked 10 places below Boulter at 99 in the world, but she appeared a dangerous opponent having recorded her first top-30 win in the opening round by defeating 27th seed Bernarda Pera.
Yet Boulter was all over her from the start, an aggressive opening return game securing the first of three breaks of serve.
Having seen the first set race away from her in just 27 minutes, Tomova finally got on the board in the second and then nicked a break from the previously impeccable Boulter serve.
The British number one hit straight back with a glorious winner, but Tomova had got in her stride, switching tactics and changing angles to unsettle her opponent and level the match.
Back-to-back net cords helped Boulter break for 2-0 in the decider and after that second-set blip, she regained her composure and asserted herself on the contest once more.
The Boulter serve was back on song, but she needed to come out on the right end of an epic 24-shot rally before converting a third match point with her 36th winner to wrap up a fine victory.