Australia's Alex De Minaur has endeared himself to British fans at Wimbledon after a beautiful nod to his girlfriend and former tennis star, Katie Boulter.
Fresh from seeing Boulter score the biggest win of her career earlier in the day, de Minaur followed the Brit into the third round with a commanding performance of his own.
'The Demon' had to pull out all stops to avoid falling two sets behind before surging to an electrifying 5-7 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 comeback win against local hope, Jack Draper.
Rain caused the second-round match to be stopped for almost an hour while the roof was closed on show court No.1 and the delay threatened to leave de Minaur hanging for the night.
But after snatching the second set in a tiebreaker, the Australian No.1 found top gear and accelerated to the finish line to ensure he wasn't asked to return on Friday to see out the match.
The Aussie's win saw him join compatriot Nick Kyrgios in the next round, after the 27-year-old played one of the finest matches of his grand slam career to dispatch 28th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-3 6-1.
Some fans were left aggrieved by the sight of Boulter sitting in the stands and cheering for de Minaur against her countryman, Draper.
The 25-year-old Brit had earlier dispatched last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in a pulsating second round match of her own.
Boulter, whose progress has been hampered by a series of injuries, says she's taken heart and strength from de Minaur's work ethic as Australia's No.1 men's player ever since they started going out more than a year ago.
"He is the epitome of a fighter and someone that goes out and gives their all every single day. That's what I aspire to be like. He helps me do that. I'm a very lucky girl," Boulter said.
The blonde baseliner - who also made the heartbreaking announcement that her nan had died two days ago - then headed out to the No.1 court at Wimbledon to cheer on de Minaur to victory.
Touching on the ongoing tennis romance that has left fans captivated at SW19, de Minaur started off his victory speech with a lovely shout-out to his girlfriend.
“Before we talk about my match, could we talk about Katie Boulter today?” De Minaur said. “I mean, she had a pretty good win herself.
“I am extremely stoked to get this win, it was a battle out there, Jack’s a hell of a competitor, hell of a talent and he’s got a very bright future ahead of him.”
The beautiful gesture had tennis fans gushing on social media.
"Before we talk about my match, can we just talk about Katie Boulter today?"
Alex de Minaur with arguably his best winner of the night to open the on-court interview, bumping up his boyfriend/honorary Brit stock nicely. pic.twitter.com/H21zYrextO
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) June 30, 2022
That was a heckin’ quality match, and a big win for Alex de Minaur, especially on the heels of a tough loss against another partisan crowd behind Gaston in Paris.
And a very nice shoutout for his girlfriend Katie Boulter to start his interview.#Wimbledon
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 30, 2022
De Minaur starts his on-court interview by shouting out girlfriend Katie Boulter. Adorable!
— David Kane (@DKTNNS) June 30, 2022
Alex de Minaur (which I can't read without thinking Minotaur!) just gave a shout-out to his girlfriend Katie Boulter for her win earlier today at #Wimbledon2022 before starting his interview after his own win. How lovely!
— Amanda Rutter (@ALRutter) June 30, 2022
Special wins for Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter! Demon starts his post match interview with a shoutout to his girlfriend Katie! #Wimbledon
— PP (@PrashantSport) June 30, 2022
Alex de Minaur joins Nick Kyrgios in third round
De Minaur was caught napping early in the showdown of two former Wimbledon junior finalists as Draper took the opening set, then fashioned a series of break points midway through the second.
Also watching intently courtside, Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt would have been proud as de Minaur repelled some ferocious hitting from Draper with his signature counter-punching to level the match.
Try as he might, Draper didn't get a look in on de Minaur's serves in the third and fourth sets as Australia's 19th seed safely advanced to a third-round meeting on Saturday with another Brit, inspired wildcard Liam Broady.
"As long as I get to play on these courts, I'm honoured to be here, happy to be here and looking forward to another chance," de Minaur said.
Broady earlier upset 12th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-2 4-6 0-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 section of the draw wide open.
De Minaur or the 132nd-ranked Broady will play either unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin or American world No.34 Jenson Brooksby for a place in the quarter-finals.
Kyrgios had no such troubles with Serbian Krajinovic, blasting past the 28th seed on the back of 24 aces in a drama-free display.
He was later fined $US10,000 ($A14,500) for a series of indiscretions in Tuesday's first-round win over British wildcard Paul Jubb, including spitting towards a spectator after the match.
Kyrgios's victory set up a third-round showstopper with Greek world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who ousted Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-3 7-5.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.