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Wimbledon: Liam Broady and Katie Boulter both make it through to third round

Liam Broady gave home fans on Centre Court reason to celebrate after he eliminated Norwegian fourth seed Casper Ruud in a huge upset; Katie Boulter made it back-to-back third rounds and is guaranteed a new career-high ranking around 70

Liam Broady and Katie Boulter at Wimbledon
Image: Liam Broady and Katie Boulter both made it through to the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday

Liam Broady and Katie Boulter both made it through to the third round at Wimbledon on a dream Thursday afternoon for the British duo.

Broady outlasted world No 4 Casper Ruud in five sets 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 for a career-best win to earn him a shot against Denis Shapovalov.

Earlier, Boulter battled through to the third round for the second successive year with a three-set win and will have nothing to lose when she gets a shot at defending champion Elena Rybakina, probably on Centre Court, on Saturday.

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In trademark gutsy fashion, Broady had to dig deep to fight back from two sets to one down but - carried by a buoyant Centre Court crowd - he clinched an excellent 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory in three hours and 27 minutes.

Broady said: "I would have liked to have played him back home but Centre Court, Wimbledon would do.

"When I went to bed last night, I had a think about what I would say if I won and now I don't know what to say!

"It was a pretty terrifying, exhilarating experience coming out at Centre Court on Wimbledon, but it's been my dream since I was five years old."

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"I said to my mum this morning, she doesn't like watching, I've already won £80,000 this week so she can chill out."

Ruud had made the finals of Roland Garros and the US Open during the past 12 months and yet had no answers to Broady's mixture of flamboyance and grit, with this win sending the world No 142 through to the third round for a second year in a row.

A wristy forehand winner on the second point of the contest signalled his intentions and despite going an early break down, the wild card came roaring back, with his backhand and flat-hitting causing all sorts of problems for Ruud, who was runner-up at last month's French Open.

Four games in a row put Broady in control and he clinched the opener in 46 minutes with the home crowd fully engaged before the three-time Grand Slam finalist levelled on his own debut on Wimbledon's main stage.

Magical Broady

Liam Broady is the fourth wild card to defeat a top-four seeded player in Wimbledon after Pat Cash (1986 vs Mats Wilander), Goran Ivanisevic (2001 vs Marat Safin and Pat Rafter) and Nick Kyrgios (2014 vs Rafael Nadal).

Liam Broady celebrates victory over Casper Ruud on day four of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Thursday July 6, 2023.
Image: Broady outlasted world No 4 Casper Ruud in five sets for a career-best win

The British No 5 then let his serve slip as two double faults allowed Ruud to break before he served out to move two sets to one up.

Broady had failed to take two break points during the 10-minute service game that saw Ruud clinch the third set but he grasped his next opportunity to move 2-0 up at the start of the fourth.

It appeared to dent Ruud's belief and the physio had to work on his right foot before a 118mph ace forced a deciding set.

The Stockport left-hander broke to love in the opening game of the fifth set where he was in his element and, a big forehand winner clinched a fifth-set bagel and the greatest victory of Broady's nine-year professional career.

Boulter, Britain's sole remaining representative in the women's singles draw, beat Bulgaria's Viktoriya Tomova 6-0 3-6 6-3 on Court 12.

The 26-year-old from Leicester, who has never made it past round three, will face Rybakina next after the reigning champion beat Alize Cornet 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

"I think it's a super great opportunity for me. I've got nothing to lose. She's clearly the defending champion for a reason," said Boulter.

"I'm going to have a swing and go for it. I've got a lot of tennis behind me. It's time for me to test my skills against an incredible champion."

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.

Katie Boulter reacts during her match against Viktoriya Tomova (not pictured) on day four of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Thursday July 6, 2023.
Image: Boulter battled past Viktoriya Tomova to set up a meeting with defending champion Elena Rybakina

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.

Boulter 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.

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