Wimbledon | Boulter’s supporters keep her going

Katie Boulter wanted to check the odds on her winning Wimbledon.
And the British 250-1 shot laughed: “What do the bookies say mine are?”

I’m lucky to have a great support around me and that does make a huge, huge difference. I’ve got great people, including a great boyfriend. Just a great team who push me every single day. Without that network, I’m not sure where I would be Katie Boulter

Wild card Boulter takes on Harmony Tan, conqueror of seven-time champion Serena Williams, for a place in the second week of her main sport’s most prestigious major
And the football fan from Leicester is taking inspiration from Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes who were 5,000-1 when they lifted the Premier League title in 2016.

The 25-year-old Brit, who stunned last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova in the second round, said: “I hope I can take a leaf out of their book. I’ve got a lot support from the Foxes. They were something else that year. Maybe hopefully I can create that this year.”

The fact she has overcome physical and personal adversity, from injuries to this week coping with the passing of her supportive, tennis fan grandma Jill, increases her belief.

Boulter, enjoying her highest world ranking at 82, said: “It’s been a tough few days losing my grandma. Tried to get my emotions out, deal with the situation. Keep my head on the tennis. Every time you lose a tennis match or every time something happens in your life you do get a little bit of a reality check. I feel I’m the type of person who will come back stronger no matter what happens.

“I’m lucky to have a great support around me and that does make a huge, huge difference. I’ve got great people, including a great boyfriend (Alex De Minaur who faces Brit Liam Broady for a spot in the men’s last 16). Just a great team who push me every single day. Without that network, I’m not sure where I would be.

“But ultimately I am a fighter and I am standing here today having overcome a lot of those issues. I just hope at some point they will go away, But it is a fact of life. These things do happen and you have to deal with them. It’s nothing different to every other person. We all have our struggles. Mine are just a little bit different and more frequent.”


Katie Boulter during her emotional on court interview

Visionhaus/Getty Images

Your day in the sun has been a long time coming?

She said: “Yeh. I think so. It just shows how much work I’ve put in. I never, ever expect things to change overnight. I don’t think that is something that ever happens.

“Sometimes miracles happen. You look at Emma (Raducanu). She’s put a lot of work in but right early in her career she’s been able to come out there and swing freely (and win the US Open aged 19). It is a little bit different for me where I’ve had to build momentum, some strength physically. It is a huge part of my game and I’ve finally been able to put that work in and it has started to pay off. I’ve got a lot more work to do and hopefully I can keep doing that.”

Daring to dream?

Boulter said: “I’m going to take one step at a time. Don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I know I’ve put the work in to win some rounds here. I just hope I can keep that going. Keep that momentum going. And just look forward to going out there. Being myself and having a smile on my face. I don’t think it gets better than playing on Centre Court and getting my first win on there (against Pliskova). Ultimately that is going to give me a lot of energy going through to many more rounds. And hopefully many more tournaments.”

She can also throw in fellow Brit Raducanu’s “astonishing” US Open triumph last autumn to strengthen her faith in anything being possible.

Boulter said: “A hundred per cent. Yes. What she did was astonishing. Incredible. She surprised everyone, played fearless tennis and that was impressive. I hope I can do that same thing. I’d love to do what she has done. And you never know, one day it might happen.”

Boulter will not be under-estimating Tan, 24, from France.

She said: “I watched her match against Serena. She makes it very difficult. There’s a reason she’s beaten some really good players this week. I expect nothing less for her to go out and enjoy herself when I play her. It’s going to be a tough battle but ultimately I’m going to go out there and enjoy myself and play some good tennis, hopefully.”





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