Wimbledon 2022: Boulter pays tribute to late grandmother after milestone win

Katie Boulter captured Wimbledon’s hearts on a day she admitted hers was breaking.

The Brit produced the performance of her career on Centre Court less than 48 hours after learning her grandmother, Jill, had died.

With her Grandad Brian watching from the players’ box, it was an emotional Boulter who closed out the biggest win of her career against last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova, beating the former world number one 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.

And she was quick to dedicate the moment to a huge influence in her career.

“Her favourite tournament was Wimbledon. That’s why it’s a special one for me. She’d watch every single match that was on the TV,” said Boulter, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme – the highest level of support for players aged 16-24.

“I actually had a phone call from my grandpa the night before I played. He didn’t mention anything, but he kind of gave me the inkling that it might be coming.

“I didn’t know anything until after my first match where my mum basically pulled me aside and told me. It’s been a tough few days for sure. I’ve tried to kind of get my emotions out and deal with the situation, try and keep my head on the tennis.

“She’s always someone who’s been right into tennis from stage one. She lived just down the road from the tennis club. That’s the club that I started playing tennis at.

“Leicestershire is very close to my heart. I’ve spent a lot of time on the courts there with my grandparents and my family. It’s a lot of memories – ones I cherish.

“I was lucky because my grandpa managed to come down from Leicester, and so we could keep him company and keep supporting him at the same time.

“I think 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 like I’m the type of person that will come back stronger no matter what happens.

“I’m lucky to have such great support around me, and that does make a huge, huge difference.”

It was a second win over Pliskova in just over a week for Boulter, who had also beaten the Czech in Eastbourne – once again coming from a set down.

She now faces the conqueror of Serena Williams, Harmony Tan, in the third round with a place in the second week at stake – and she’s determined not to pile on too much pressure.

“I actually watched her match against Serena,” she added. “She makes it very difficult. There’s a reason she’s beaten some really good players this week. I expect nothing less than her to go out there and enjoy herself when I play her.

“It’s going to be a tough battle. But ultimately I’m just going to go out and enjoy myself and play some good tennis hopefully.”

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