WATCH: Aryna Sabalenka was comprehensive in her first-round win over Panna Udvardy on Centre Court.

A game away from defeat, and her earliest loss at a major in the last 10 played, Aryna Sabalenka rallied her way to another day at Wimbledon. The No. 2 seed came from 6-2, 5-4 down to defeat Varvara Gracheva 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 in Friday's second round on No. 1 Court.

World No. 41 Gracheva was a game away from her fourth career Top 10 win—all this year—before Sabalenka rallied for victory in shade under two hours. The Russian-born Gracheva is a newly-minted French citizen after having lived there for the majority of the last decade, was playing under her new flag at a Grand Slam for the first time at the All England Club.

And after upsetting former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Camila Giorgi in the opening round, Gracheva—who's reached the third round at the other three majors—started well against the reigning Australian Open champion in pursuit of her first such berth at Wimbledon. She broke an erratic Sabalenka three times in the opening set, in which the No. 2 seed made 16 unforced errors, nearly half her total for the match.

But neither woman faced a break point in the second set—nor was even taken to deuce on serve—before Sabalenka ripped out to a 0-40 lead at 5-5, and broke to 15, to kick-start her comeback.

"I'm just super happy that I was able to get through it in the second set to finally find my game [to] fight through this tough match," Sabalenka said afterwards.

"I was just keep trying to fight, keep trying to find my rhythm. I think in the second set I start feeling better. Kind of I felt like everything is kind of under my control. Then in the third set I was just going for my shots. I felt like I came back in the match. I start feeling better."


After failing to convert either of two break points in the first game of the decider, Sabalenka quickly moved ahead and never looked back: She broke Gracheva to 15 at 1-1, added an insurance break in the seventh game, and never faced a break point herself in the set. She finished the match with 27 winners, including eight aces, to 35 unforced errors.

Sabalenka also credited a change in racquets—she sent them off to the stringer mid-match to better suit hot conditions—with helped her find her groove.

"I was just keep telling myself keep fighting, keep trying, and probably you'll be able to turn around this game," she added. "I think in the second set, I ... kind of I felt like everything is under my control."

Sabalenka moves through to a third round match against Anna Blinkova, who is, in fact, Gracheva's doubles partner at the Championships. The 24-year-old, who's twice reached the third round at Roland Garros, moved through to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time with a 7-5, 6-3 upset of No. 29 seed Irina-Camelia Begu.