British wildcard Katie Boulter dedicated her stunning Wimbledon win over last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova to her grandmother, who died just two days ago.

The rising star – who has posed for Vogue and often shares glamorous snaps on her Instagram – saw off the Czech in three dramatic sets on Centre Court this afternoon to make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Holding back tears in a post-match interview, she revealed her tragic loss as her family, who also appeared emotional, watched on.

Among the relatives in the stands was her grandfather, who invented the anti-theft tags found on clothes in shops.

Boulter came from behind after being beaten 6-3 in the first set, despite the perfect start in which she broke serve to win the first game.

But Boulter then launched a stunning comeback – aided by several well-judged challenges to the umpire – to win the second set 7-6, and set up a grandstand finish in SW19.

The 25-year-old – whose boyfriend is top-ranked Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur, due on Court 1 himself this afternoon – then found another gear to clinch the decisive third set 6-4. 

The home crowd roared in support of the rising star, who delivered a surprise victory over the world number six, off the back of the double disappointment of defeats for Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray yesterday.

Speaking on court afterwards, the 5ft11 player dedicated the victory to her grandmother who died on Tuesday – the same day Boulter romped to her first victory of the tournament, when she beat Clara Burel of France in straight sets.

Addressing the crowd in an interview with the BBC, she said: ‘I’ve got absolutely no words right now. The crowd was unbelievable, thank you so much for getting me through that.

‘I’m going to get emotional. My gran passed away two days ago so I’d just like to dedicate that to her today.

‘Honestly, it’s a dream come true for me. I’ve hopefully got many more matches to play and if I’ve got you guys behind me for those, hopefully I can go a long way, so thank you very much.’

British wildcard Katie Boulter stormed to a sensational victory over last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon today to make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time

Katie Boulter's family are pictured in tears as they celebrate her emotional victory at Wimbledon on day four of the tennis championship

Katie Boulter’s family are pictured in tears as they celebrate her emotional victory at Wimbledon on day four of the tennis championship

Katie Boulter pictured as a child (left) and grown up (right) with her grandmother, who tragically died earlier this week

Katie Boulter pictured as a child (left) and grown up (right) with her grandmother, who tragically died earlier this week

Speaking on court afterwards, she dedicated the victory to her grandmother she said: 'I’m probably going to cry. My gran passed away two days ago and I just want to dedicate this to her'

Speaking on court afterwards, she dedicated the victory to her grandmother she said: ‘I’m probably going to cry. My gran passed away two days ago and I just want to dedicate this to her’

Katie Boulter gets emotional after her win against world number 6

Boulter, pictured, beat Czech Karolina Pliskova, who was last year's Wimbledon finalist

Katie Boulter gets emotional after her win against world number 6, Czech Karolina Pliskova, who was last year’s finalist at Wimbledon

Boulter's granddad, left, and her mother, right, applaud the 25-year-old after her win against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova

Boulter’s granddad, left, and her mother, right, applaud the 25-year-old after her win against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova

Sue Boulter, mother of Great Britain's Katie Boulter, looks emotional after her daughters victory in the second round match against Karolina Pliskova on centre court

Sue Boulter, mother of Great Britain’s Katie Boulter, looks emotional after her daughters victory in the second round match against Karolina Pliskova on centre court

Katie Boulter's family and coaching staff wipe away tears as they celebrate her second round victory on day four of the Wimbledon Championship

Katie Boulter’s family and coaching staff wipe away tears as they celebrate her second round victory on day four of the Wimbledon Championship

Katie Boulter is pictured with her granddad, who invented anti-theft shopping tags, on her Instagram. He was in the stands at Wimbledon celebrating her win this afternoon

Katie Boulter is pictured with her granddad, who invented anti-theft shopping tags, on her Instagram. He was in the stands at Wimbledon celebrating her win this afternoon 

Katie was pictured alongside her mother and grandmother at Christmas as she posed with a yule log and posted the image to her social media account

Katie was pictured alongside her mother and grandmother at Christmas as she posed with a yule log and posted the image to her social media account

This was the second year in a row playing on Centre for Boulter (pictured left, with her grandfather) after her narrow loss to semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka at the same stage last year

This was the second year in a row playing on Centre for Boulter (pictured left, with her grandfather) after her narrow loss to semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka at the same stage last year

Katie's mother Sue is a former Tennis coach. Katie started playing Tennis when she was just four-years-old

Katie’s mother Sue is a former Tennis coach. Katie started playing Tennis when she was just four-years-old

The world number 118, from Leicester, beat Frenchwoman Clara Burel with ease in her first match of the tournament in a comfortable 7-5 6-3 win. Pictured with her boyfriend Alex de Minaur at an event at Wimbledon in May

The world number 118, from Leicester, beat Frenchwoman Clara Burel with ease in her first match of the tournament in a comfortable 7-5 6-3 win. Pictured with her boyfriend Alex de Minaur at an event at Wimbledon in May

The British number three went into the match full of confidence after a fine run of tournaments on the grass, including victory over Pliskova in Eastbourne last week.

And, after defeats for Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray on Wednesday, Boulter thrilled the home crowd by coming from a set down to win 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.

The roof was surprisingly closed for the match despite conditions being dry and play continuing on the outdoor courts.

This was the second year in a row playing on Centre for Boulter after her narrow loss to semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka at the same stage last year.

Sabalenka’s run was ended by Pliskova, who reached her second slam final, but this has not been a good season for the Czech, who missed the Australian Open with a broken arm and has not managed to find any momentum.

She had won back-to-back matches just twice all year prior to arriving at the All England Club and the sixth seed quickly found herself a break down as Boulter settled well and powered into a 2-0 lead.

The indoor conditions suited Pliskova, though, and she began to find rhythm on her serve and groundstrokes, reeling off five games in a row.

Boulter needed her opponent’s serve to drop a level to get back into the match and that happened early in the second as double faults gave the British player breaks for 3-1 and 4-2.

She was broken straight back both times but held firm to force a tie-break and made the perfect start by winning the first four points.

Pliskova responded with three in a row but Boulter, who had noticeably begun to go for a little bit more on her groundstrokes, kept her nose in front and claimed her second set point.

The 25-year-old’s talent has never been in doubt but staying fit consistently has so far proved impossible, which has kept her outside the top 100 for most of her career.

She had grown into this match brilliantly and kept Pliskova at arm’s length throughout the deciding set before making the crucial breakthrough to lead 5-4.

And Boulter was nerveless serving it out, planting a final volley into the open court and pumping her fists in delight.

Katie Boulter made the perfect start at Wimbledon today as she broke serve to win the first game in her second-round clash with Karolina Pliskova

Katie Boulter made the perfect start at Wimbledon today as she broke serve to win the first game in her second-round clash with Karolina Pliskova

Katie Boulter in action during her second round match against Pliskova. The British number three went into the match full of confidence after a fine run of tournaments on the grass, including victory over Pliskova in Eastbourne last week

Katie Boulter in action during her second round match against Pliskova. The British number three went into the match full of confidence after a fine run of tournaments on the grass, including victory over Pliskova in Eastbourne last week

The home crowd on Centre Court roared in support of the rising star, who is one of just six British players left in the championships after the double disappointment of defeats for Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray yesterday

The home crowd on Centre Court roared in support of the rising star, who is one of just six British players left in the championships after the double disappointment of defeats for Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray yesterday

The 5ft11 blonde - who has posed for Vogue and often shares glamorous snaps on her Instagram - saw off the Czech in three dramatic sets lasting around two hours on Centre Court this afternoon

The 5ft11 blonde – who has posed for Vogue and often shares glamorous snaps on her Instagram – saw off the Czech in three dramatic sets lasting around two hours on Centre Court this afternoon

Boulter needed her opponent's serve to drop a level to get back into the match and that happened early in the second as double faults gave the British player breaks for 3-1 and 4-2

Boulter needed her opponent’s serve to drop a level to get back into the match and that happened early in the second as double faults gave the British player breaks for 3-1 and 4-2

Katie Boulter was pictured smiling to fans as she clutched a Wimbledon towel during her second round match against Karolina Pliskova

Katie Boulter was pictured smiling to fans as she clutched a Wimbledon towel during her second round match against Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova celebrated winning the first set during her second round match against Boulter this afternoon

Karolina Pliskova celebrated winning the first set during her second round match against Boulter this afternoon

Katie Boulter played a forehand against Pliskova of Czech Republic during their Women's Singles Second Round match on day four of The Championships

Katie Boulter played a forehand against Pliskova during the dramatic Women’s Singles Second Round match on day four of The Championships at Wimbledon

Katie Boulter was pictured arriving at practice this morning carrying her Wimbledon pass and tennis rackets

Katie Boulter was pictured arriving at practice this morning carrying her Wimbledon pass and tennis rackets

Tall and with easy power, Boulter, from Leicester, has risen as high as 82 in the world and looks to have the most potential of the younger generation of Brits. 

The player, who spent part of lockdown volunteering for Age UK, often shares glamorous snaps on her Instagram of her adventures training and competing around the world.

She also confirmed she is dating top-ranked Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur, who is due on Court 1 himself this afternoon. 

Boulter reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain’s Federation Cup team.

Following the team’s victory over Kazakhstan she suffered a spinal stress fracture, side lining her for the rest of the year.

Her rehabilitation was compounded by her battle with chronic fatigue, which she was diagnosed with as a teenager.

But in an interview last year she said she feels like ‘I’ve officially conquered it’ and revealed how she is ‘as strong as I have ever been physically’. 

Boulter used her time during 2020’s UK lockdown to complete work with Age UK, a charity for the elderly, where ‘there was one elderly lady I called every week so I could check that she’s OK and see if she needs anything doing’. 

Golden girl of British tennis! How coach’s daughter Katie Boulter, 25, has gone from career-threatening injury to dazzling at Wimbledon – and has found love with fellow player Alex de Minaur

She was dubbed ‘Britain’s new rising tennis star’ last year when at Wimbledon, and Katie Boulter appears set to put on an equally impressive display this summer. 

The world number 118, from Leicester, beat Frenchwoman Clara Burel with ease in her first match of the tournament in a comfortable 7-5 6-3 win.

After suffering a back injury in 2019, she is hoping to reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time this afternoon as she plays World No 6 Karolina Pliskova in a tough second round clash.

Tall and with easy power, Boulter, 25, who spent part of the lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic volunteering for Age UK, often shares glamorous snaps on her Instagram of her adventures training and competing around the world.

Meanwhile, the stunning blonde, whose mother Sue is a former Tennis coach, confirmed in 2021 that she is dating top-ranked Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur, who has a career-high singles ranking of No. 15.

She was dubbed 'Britain's new rising tennis star' last year when at Wimbledon, and Katie Boulter (pictured) appears set to put on an equally impressive display this summer

She was dubbed ‘Britain’s new rising tennis star’ last year when at Wimbledon, and Katie Boulter (pictured) appears set to put on an equally impressive display this summer

She is hoping to reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time this afternoon as she plays World No 6 Karolina Pliskova in a tough second round clash

She is hoping to reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time this afternoon as she plays World No 6 Karolina Pliskova in a tough second round clash

Boulter, who grew up in the upmarket Leicestershire village of Woodhouse Eaves, started playing tennis aged four, and went on to represent Great Britain three years later in a junior competition.

She has previously said that when she was younger, beating her older brother in practice games was her motivation.

In 2011, aged just 14, she reached the final of the Orange Bowl in America, one of the most prestigious junior Tennis tournaments. 

Before her tennis career, she played the piano and also has a keen interest in fashion, having even made an appearance in Vogue magazine in 2018.

She is also an avid fan of Leicester City Football Club, sharing snaps online of her attending games with her grandfather Brian Gartshore, who is in his 80s and invented anti-theft tags to prevent the shoplifting of clothes and other items.

‘He’s a very smart guy and he’s always been there for me throughout everything,’ Boulter previously said, via The Express and Star.

Back on court: Boulter reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain's Federation Cup team. Pictured, Katie in a training snap shared on Instagram

Back on court: Boulter reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain’s Federation Cup team. Pictured, Katie in a training snap shared on Instagram

Strike a pose! Katie, who has recovered from injury, shares snaps of her jet-set life on Instagram

Strike a pose! Katie, who has recovered from injury, shares snaps of her jet-set life on Instagram

Strike a pose! Katie, who has recovered from injury, shares snaps of her jet-set life on Instagram

Boulter reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain’s Federation Cup team.

Following the team’s victory over Kazakhstan she suffered a spinal stress fracture, side-lining her for the rest of the year.

Her rehabilitation was compounded by her battle with chronic fatigue, which she was diagnosed with as a teenager.

However this year she is back at Wimbledon, where her beau Alex is also competing.  ‘There’s no place like home. Grateful for the opportunity,’ Katie said of her return to SW19. 

Boulter has full confidence that if she can stay fit she belongs at the highest level.

On International Women's Day 2021, Alex made it official with a gushing Instagram post, alongside a photo of the pair sharing a warm embrace

On International Women’s Day 2021, Alex made it official with a gushing Instagram post, alongside a photo of the pair sharing a warm embrace

Boulter (pictured) reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain's Federation Cup team

Boulter (pictured) reached the world ranking of 82 before she was struck down with injury in April 2019 when she was part of Great Britain’s Federation Cup team

‘I really do. I feel like I’ve shown in some of the matches recently some of the stuff that I’m capable of,’ she said. ‘It’s just doing it day in, day out. For me, that is the toughest challenge.

‘Of course, I’ve got so much to work on in my game. I really feel like I can push on. But I do feel like I can compete with a lot of the best players in the world.

‘Getting my first top-10 win last week showed me that and it proved to me I’m there and thereabouts, I’ve just got to stay fit.

‘I really hope that I can push on and stay injury-free. That’s going to be my ultimate goal. I’ve said it year in, year out. I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into keeping myself on the court. I’m hoping this year it’s going to pay off.’

Boulter’s early evening victory on Court 18 during her first match of Wimbledon this year saw her become the ninth Briton to qualify for the second round – the most since 1997.

And she is loving the ‘magic’ that is happening within the ranks of home players.

Katie Boulter cruised through to the second round of Wimbledon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Katie Boulter cruised through to the second round of Wimbledon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

A hug for Emma! Katie greets Emma Raducanu ahead of a training match at Wimbledon

A hug for Emma! Katie greets Emma Raducanu ahead of a training match at Wimbledon

‘I’m absolutely loving it. I feel like everyone’s pushing themselves, almost just spurring each other on with the little bit of magic that’s going on in British tennis right now,’ she said.

‘I feel like I’m catching a little bit of it and I hope that I can push other people with that. It’s really nice to be a part of it. I know how hard they work behind the scenes.

‘Everyone’s doing great, and hopefully we can keep that going. We’re in a really, really good place. I hope that, yeah, many more wins will come off the back of that.’

On International Women’s Day last year, her boyfriend Alex made their relationship official with a gushing Instagram post, alongside a photo of the pair sharing a warm embrace. 

‘Happy International Women’s Day! Specially to this one, I don’t mind you,’ he wrote. She commented: ‘Guess you’re OK too’ with a love heart and kissing emoji.

Boulter used her time during 2020’s UK lockdown to complete work with Age UK, a charity for the elderly, where ‘there was one elderly lady I called every week so I could check that she’s OK and see if she needs anything doing’. 



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