Willis one win from Wimbledon return

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London (AFP)

Marcus Willis, the man who defied his ranking of 772 to reach the Wimbledon second round and a Centre Court date against Roger Federer in 2016, moved one win from returning to the main draw on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old, now at 374 in the world, downed British compatriot Liam Broady 7-6 (7/2) 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 in a rain-delayed qualifier.

Burly left-hander Willis, who won six qualifiers to reach the main draw 12 months ago where his magical run was eventually ended by Swiss star Federer, will next face world number 117 Illya Marchenko of Ukraine on Friday.

Another victory will give him a place in the first round proper of the season's third Grand Slam event which starts at the All England Club on Monday.