Wimbledon 2023: Katie Boulter equals career-best performance as she reaches the third round
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Katie Boulter defeated Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 to make it through to the third round at Wimbledon for only the second time in her career.
Boulter has now made back-to-back third rounds – her career-best result at SW19 – where she could face reigning champion Elena Rybakina or France’s Alize Cornet.
She is the first Brit through to the third round this year and she becomes the fourth British wild card to reach this stage at Wimbledon in the last five years.
"I think it's really important for me to get through matches like that," Boulter said. "She's obviously a top player. She plays week in, week out against players like me.
"I tried to dig deep, as much as I could, and stick to my game plan, back myself. Today it paid off. I think I'm playing really well. I've played a lot of matches on the grass. I feel very comfortable.
"When you hear the roar from the crowd, it really gives you something else. I think my adrenaline really spurs on when I hear it. It's like pinch-me moments. You've just got to remind yourself that this doesn't happen every day."
Boulter set the tone from the opening game – striking hard against the Bulgarian’s second serve to fetch herself four break points before taking an early lead. Taking the confidence from the initial break, the British No.1 continued to move through the gears – dropping only 10 points in the last five games as she sealed a first set to love in just 27 minutes.
The start of a new set brought a totally different contest. As Tomova’s level began to rise, it was Boulter’s turn to struggle on serve. Looking slightly tense, Boulter made 14 unforced errors, allowing the Bulgarian back into the match with two crucial breaks at either end of the set.
Into the deciding set and Boulter re-discovered her form when it mattered most. Throughout the match Tomova had struggled to deal with Boulter’s power of the groundstrokes in their longer rallies and as Boulter found more consistency, she pulled away once more.
A break to the good early on in the third, all Boulter needed to do was keep her nerve and hold here serve – and that she did. Leading 5-3 and serving for the match, she managed to keep her cool, firing off a trademark forehand winner on her third match point to book her spot in the next round.