Bold Boulter unable to continue Wimbledon fairytale after suffering second round defeat

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Leicester ace Boulter, 24, was unable to seal the win by a British woman in a Grand Sam since Johanna Konta stunned No.2 seed Simona Halep at Wimbledon four years ago
Leicester ace Boulter, 24, was unable to seal the win by a British woman in a Grand Sam since Johanna Konta stunned No.2 seed Simona Halep at Wimbledon four years ago

Brave Katie Boulter threatened to upset second seed Aryna Sabalenka on her Centre Court debut before succumbing in three sets to exit Wimbledon in the second round.

Boulter is a member of the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, which provides world-class coaching, medical and financial support to Britain’s elite young players with the potential to reach the top 100 within five years.

The 24-year-old went down 4-6 6-3 6-3 as her Belarussian opponent’s brute power – she clocked serves of up to 119mph – saw her prevail but Boulter was buoyed by an unforgettable display on SW19’s premier show court.

“I think my first and only takeaway is that it's definitely the best court in the world,” said the world No.219, who was bidding for the best win by a British woman in a Grand Slam since Johanna Konta stunned No.2 seed Simona Halep at Wimbledon four years ago.

“I've not had a chance to play on it yet, that's my first time. I absolutely loved every minute out there.

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“Obviously I was a little bit nervous to start with walking out onto the court, but I felt like I was at home straight off the bat. The crowd made me feel so welcome.

“The British crowd were incredible. I thought it was a really good match, one I won't forget.”

Boulter became the first Brit to win for two years at the All England Club when she defeated American qualifier Danielle Lao on Monday.

But the Leicester star was unable to make it into the third round for the first time in her career despite raising the roof by taking the opening set against one of the favourites for this year’s title.

“She's clearly a champion for a reason,” said the British No.5.

“Those are the people that play the best points at the most important points. She did that today. It got her out of trouble a couple of times.

“I obviously felt like I had quite a few break points and didn't manage to take them. I also didn't feel like I gave them away.

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“I've got no regrets about that at all.”

Boulter was a doubt for the tournament having retired from her Nottingham quarter-final with an elbow injury earlier this month and was forced to take a medical time out in the last set.

But she suggested the blow - the nature of which she declined to reveal - did not hold her back for the majority of the contest.

“I was happy with where my elbow was,” Boulter added.

“It seems to be in a good place right now. That's really good news for me.

“It's something that I've had to manage this whole entire time. I did feel like I lost a little bit of power on the serve, especially in the last game actually.

“Not at all to take away from the match - I thought it held up really well for the entire time.”

Keep up to date with all the latest from tennis in Britain by following @the_LTA on Twitter, @LTA on Instagram, LTA – Tennis for Britain on Facebook and @lta on TikTok.

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