Miami Open: Katie Boulter beats Brenda Fruhvirtova, Dan Evans also through

Katie Boulter hits a backhand return at the Miami Open
Katie Boulter is seeded at the Miami Open after climbing into the world's top 30 for the first time

British number one Katie Boulter is through to the Miami Open third round after 16-year-old opponent Brenda Fruhvirtova was forced to retire through illness.

Boulter, who has made a strong start to 2024, led the second-round match 7-6 (7-5) 1-0 when Fruhvirtova withdrew.

The Czech player led by an early break but struggled in the Florida heat and twice asked to see a doctor.

"To win like that, I'll take it but I want her to get better," said Boulter.

Speaking to Sky Sports, she added. "Halfway through the match I'm seeing her coaches telling her to pull out and then she's not.

"One minute she's struggling to put the ball in the court and the next she's running 10 shots side to side. It's a tough mental game."

In the men's singles, British number three Dan Evans fought back to beat Italy's Lorenzo Sonego and earn a rare win in what has been a difficult start to the season.

Evans, 33, showed his fight and resilience to secure a 1-6 6-3 6-4 victory against the world number 53.

Evans, who is ranked 43rd, claimed only his third win in nine matches this year, setting up a second-round match against American 31st seed Christopher Eubanks.

"I'm really happy - it has been a tragic year so far," Evans said.

Fellow Britons Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper are all scheduled to play their second-round matches on Friday, but a packed schedule is set to be disrupted with rain forecast in Florida.

Boulter wins ugly in 'challenging' circumstances

While it was not the way Boulter wanted to progress, the 27-year-old will take positives from the way she maintained focus in the difficult circumstances.

Ultimately, she will be relieved to earn her first victory at the Miami Open, which is a WTA 1000 event and one of the biggest outside the Grand Slams.

It was far from Boulter's best performance, falling short of the level which helped her win the biggest title of her career at the San Diego Open last month and climb to a career-high ranking of 27th in the world.

Fruhvirtova was a break up in the first set and playing confidently as Boulter - who lost in the Indian Wells first round just days after her San Diego triumph - was unable to find range with her aggressive shot-making.

But momentum shifted when the teenager needed to see a doctor before she was about to serve for the set at 5-4.

Boulter tried to up the intensity and lengthen the points, further sapping Fruhvirtova's energy levels.

Boulter broke back for 5-5 and went on to win the tie-break, then took the serve of Fruhvirtova - whose execution of her shots was increasingly erratic - again at the start of the second set.

Fruhvirtova, who is regarded as one of the most exciting talents on the WTA Tour, asked to see the doctor again before conceding the match.

"For me it was challenging and I wasn't the kindest to myself but we live and learn," added 24th seed Boulter, who received a first-round bye and plays Brazilian 11th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last 32.

"There is a lot to improve on but I'll take it."