There were numerous upsets in the women’s singles draw on day three in SW19, but Britain’s Boulter was unable to produce one of her own
British wild card Katie Boulter suffered a heartbreaking defeat by No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday, winning the first set but ultimately losing in three on Centre Court.
Boulter, 24, was on the cusp of a seismic victory in front of a boisterous crowd in SW19, claiming the first set 6-4 as she edged towards an unlikely result.
But Sabalenka’s composure got her back into the match, with the Belarusian levelling the encounter at one set all after taking the second frame 6-3.
The second seed broke Boulter early in a tense third set, which saw the Briton fight back throughout. A marathon game at 4-3 produced numerous break points for Boulter, who simply could not convert – as Sabalenka called upon a trusty serve time and again to ultimately hold.
Boulter was broken one last time in the following game as Sabalenka finally put away the spirited Briton to advance to the third round.
While Boulter could not achieve the upset, there were surprising results elsewhere at the All England Club on Wednesday.
No 5 seed Bianca Andreescu was comfortably beaten by Alize Cornet, the Canadian falling to the Frenchwoman 6-2 6-1 after one hour and 23 minutes on court.
The exit of Andreescu was followed by No 4 seed Sofia Kenin’s loss to fellow American Madison Brengle, who won 6-2 6-4.
Belinda Bencic also suffered a shock defeat by unseeded Kaja Juvan. Ninth seed Bencic was beaten 6-3 6-3.
Elsewhere, Elina Svitolina, No 3 seed in the women’s singles draw, was forced to work hard for a 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory over Alison van Uytvanck, while proceedings were rather more straightforward for last year’s French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who emerged as a 6-1 6-3 winner against Vera Zvonareva.
Similarly, 12th seed Victoria Azarenka progressed with a 6-1 6-1 win against Kateryna Kozlova, 13th seed Elise Mertens thrashed Zhu Lin 6-2 6-0, and 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza breezed past Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, 6-1 6-4.