Eugenie Bouchard moved to within one win of the main Wimbledon draw after battling past Karolina Muchova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round of qualifying at Roehampton.
Canadian Bouchard was Wimbledon junior champion in 2012 and runner-up in the women’s singles two years later as she broke into the world’s top five.
However, after plummeting down the rankings to 191st, Bouchard missed out on a wild-card for this year’s tournament at the All England Club.
It looked like the 24-year-old was on course for a comfortable victory after taking the opening set in Wednesday’s second-round qualifying match at the Bank of England Sports Centre.
Czech 21-year-old Muchova then levelled up to put the outcome in the balance, before Bouchard’s experience saw her through on a first match-point chance.
Bouchard will next face the qualifying tournament’s second seed Mariana Duque-Marino after the Colombian world number 97 defeated Richel Hogenkamp 6-4 6-1.
“I didn’t feel like I was playing all that well, so I am just happy I was able to keep myself collected in the third (set) and find a way,” Bouchard told BBC Sport.
“I would be proud of myself for going through the (qualifying) matches. I have a match tomorrow, that is all I am worried about right now.”
On her journey toward competing at the major events again, Bouchard added: “I have learned a lot and I am just grateful to be able to play tennis.”
Andy Murray suffered a straight-sets defeat to Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne on Wednesday as the two-time Wimbledon champion continued to build his fitness after 11 months out.
Edmund has succeeded Murray as British number one during the Scot’s lengthy injury-enforced absence, and the 23-year-old’s growing authority was clear throughout a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the second round of the Nature Valley International.
The 31-year-old last week began his comeback when he lost to world number 19 Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club. He followed that by overcoming Stan Wawrinka on Monday in straight sets, but, if that suggested he had cause for optimism, his performance against Edmund offered a reality check.
Murray then refused to commit to competing at the All England Club from Monday, and against Edmund he showed little that would equip him for up to five sets against some of the world’s best.
He will move up from 156 to 147 in the world rankings, but will be more concerned with the inconsistency of his serve. A double fault at the very start contributed to an early break for Edmund, and the Johannesburg-born player then rescued three break points to establish a 2-0 lead.
Murray temporarily showed signs of improvement through several aces, but, after Edmund earned two set-points with a fine backhand winner and then converted the first, the three-time grand slam winner’s struggles increased.
In the second set he dropped his serve again to go 3-2 down, after a double fault and on Edmund’s fourth break point.
After being broken again to go 5-2 down, Murray impressively responded to claw it back to 5-4, but a further winner from the powerful Edmund secured two match-points and he duly secured victory with a passing shot.
Heading into this match, Murray had won each of his two previous matches against Edmund – and had not lost to a compatriot since a 2006 defeat to Tim Henman.
Djokovic was closing in on his first title for 12 months after clinching a match point in the second set.
However, the 31-year-old wasted that opportunity and ruined another one after taking a 4-1 lead in the second set tie-break to eventually lose the match 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 .
“I wouldn’t say I’m a contender, you know, for a (Wimbledon) trophy or anything like that,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by AFP.
Novak Djokovic will be a top 12 seed at Wimbledon, which means he can't face Federer, Nadal, Zverev or Cilic before the QFs.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 23, 2018
The Wimbledon starts on July 2 and the Serbian has just about one a week to get back on track. Djokovic said he is not at the level he needs to be for success at Wimbledon.
“I have to keep my expectations very low, considering my results in the last 12 months,” he said.
“I think everyone will agree that Roger is the number one favourite. But Cilic is right up there next to him.”
However, Djokovic insisted he retains the desire to compete at the highest level.
“It’s what I’m playing for. Obviously I am here right after coming from the court, speaking to you guys, and I’m not going to be ecstatic about losing a final.”