Katie Boulter

Boulter using Wimbledon heartbreak as fuel for Paris Olympic dream

Katie Boulter vowed to use her deciding tie-break defeat against Harriet Dart at Wimbledon as a platform for progression at the Paris Olympics.

The Leicester player and British No.1, 27, lost a battle of the Brits thriller after being unable to convert a four-point lead with the third set locked at six games apiece.

Boulter was 6-2 up against her compatriot but eventually went down 4-6 6-1 7-6 (8) in the second round.

Dart, the British No.2 but ranked 71 places below world No.29 Boulter, appeared emotional when trailing in the tie-break and looked to have a mountain to climb in front of a gripped Court 1 crowd.

But Boulter proceeded to miscue a series of forehands and give Dart, who had beaten her East Midlands rival just once in seven matches heading into the encounter, a glimmer of hope.

Dart soon found herself serving for the match and booked her place in the third round for the second time in her career when one final Boulter groundstroke went long.

Boulter will now turn her attention to the Olympics later this month and believes her experience of heartbreak can provide added motivation in the French capital.

She said: “I think I’ll be using it for a long time coming up – I think that’s a great thing in a way.

“It’s always good to have motivation because that’s what defines you as a person.

“You’re going to get better and better and I’m going to work harder and harder.

“These are the kind of losses that sting a little bit. They do – there’s no other way to put it. I’m going to use it.

“I’m going to come back stronger and hopefully be winning a lot more matches here next year.

“The Olympics is something that I have wanted to tick off since I was a little girl.

“I cannot wait for it – I’m going to soak it all in and have a fantastic time at the Olympics.”

Boulter had beaten Dart at the LTA’s Rothesay Nottingham Open earlier this summer to extend her dominant record against her British rival.

She triumphed over German Tatjana Maria in the opening round at SW19 at the start of this week but was unable to emulate her run to the last 32 this time 12 months ago as Dart secured a memorable victory.

Dart, who will now face Chinese star Wang Xinyu in the last 32, said: “I wear my emotions on my sleeve so you see everything how I’m thinking, unfortunately, but I’m so happy to be able to get through.

“Thank you so much for the support, it was so fab.

“My head-to-head is absolutely woeful against Katie so I wasn’t expecting too much.

“But at the same time I just tried my best out there and even though I was down in that tie-break I just thought give it everything, no regrets and I’m really pleased to be able to battle through.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

Related Articles