Mixed day for Brits at Wimbledon qualifying as Willis, Corrie and Dart make it into final round

Great Britain’s Marcus Willis is now just one match away from the main draw at Wimbledon after beating Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-4 in a tense match at Roehampton.

Willis joined Ed Corrie and Harriet Dart as the Britons to make it through to the third and final round of singles qualifying, after an overall disappointing day for British hopes.

Willis, who shocked Japanese world no.99 Yuichi Sugita in the first qualifying round, is ranked at 775 in the world after an injury-riddled year and was understandably delighted with his progress.

He said: “I was the last to get here so anything is a bonus at this point.

“It took me a while to get going again today against a very talented opponent but I won a big break in the fifth game of the second set which set me up.

“Now I’m just looking forward to the next match, obviously I’d love to qualify!”

World number 203 Rublev showed some flashes of brilliance during the match but Willis held firm and will now play another Russian, 20-year-old Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev was controversially disqualified from a tournament in April for racially-charged comments made towards an umpire.

Corrie reached the third round for the first time having made short work of 10th seeded German Michael Berrer 6-0 6-3 in the shock of the day.

The 28-year-old faces Frenchman Albano Olivetti and world number 791 in the final qualifying round.

The other British men however failed to advance as Joe Salisbury lost to powerful American Austin Krajicek 6-4 3-6 6-3 and two-time Wimbledon first-rounder Daniel Cox who fell 6-3 7-5 to Austrian Dennis Novak.

In the women’s qualifying there, was success for Harriet Dart but heartbreak for fellow Briton’s Freya Christie and Katie Boulter.

Christie, 18, had tweeted her delight at securing a wildcard pre-tournament but lost in a gruelling first round encounter to Japanese 10th seed Risa Okazi.

In a match spread over two days due to rain, Nottingham-born Christie had a number of match points but couldn’t finish Okazi off and succumbed 6-7 7-6 7-5.

London-born 19-year-old Dart avenged Christie’s defeat by beating Okazi in the second qualifying round just hours later and joins Corrie and Willis in being just one game from the main draw.

Dart utilised her strong backhand to defeat Okazi 6-4 6-3, but it was tough on the Japanese who looked exhausted having played two matches in the same day.

Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova now stands in Dart’s way for a place in Wimbledon’s first round proper.

Fellow teenager Katie Boulter meanwhile surrendered a 5-0 lead in the second set en route to defeat to Swede Rebecca Peterson.

Boulter stormed to a seemingly unassailable lead with a powerful serve as she led 6-4 5-0 but conspired to allow Peterson back in.

She seemed to tire as the match progressed and Boulter will be furious after letting her grip on the match slip so spectacularly to lose 4-6 7-6 6-3.

Lisa Whybourn, 25, lost to Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-3 7-6 and Gabriela Taylor lost 5-7 6-4 6-4 to American Vania King.

Elsewhere there were victories for Wimbledon 2015 first-rounder Hiroki Moriya and Russian top seed Karen Khachanov in the men’s draw.

They are joined by the likes of Czech number 2 seed Adam Pavlasek and Italian number 8 Thomas Fabbiano in the third round qualifiers.

Related Articles