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Alex De Minaur has paid tribute to his girlfriend Katie Boulter after she stunned last year’s runner up Karolina Pliskova to reach the third round. The British No 3 came from a set down to upset the sixth seed just nine days after beating her in Eastbourne and is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, where she will play Serena Williams’ conqueror Harmony Tan.
Boulter enjoyed a good grass season leading into Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-final in Birmingham and the last 16 in Nottingham and Eastbourne, where she beat Pliskova. And the 25-year-old was able to upset the world No 7 less than two weeks later in her Centre Court debut on Thursday, coming from a set down for a 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4.
Hours later, her boyfriend De Minaur – the ATP world No 27 – took to Court 1 to beat Boulter’s compatriot Jack Draper in four sets to join his girlfriend in the third round. And he started his on-court interview by saying: “Before we talk about my match, can we just talk about Katie Boulter today?”
And the Aussie shared his pride after watching the 25-year-old defeat last year’s runner-up again after his own match. “Look, I think it’s amazing. I mean, what she was able to do today was an amazing effort,” De Minaur said following his 5-7 7-6(0) 6-2 6-3 win over Draper.
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“I mean, under all the circumstances, you know, she got out there on Centre Court, and beaten last year’s runner-up. So I think that’s pretty special. I’m just stoked for her. You know, this is her home Slam. She gets to enjoy it. I know she was a little bit nervous going in, but, you know, she’s gone out and put on a brilliant performance.”
Boulter has dealt with a number of injury issues after a stellar Fed Cup performance for Great Britain three years ago, which saw her ranking tumble out of the top 100 and forced the Leicester-born star to miss months of the tour. And the 19th seed in the men’s draw at Wimbledon explained how special it was to see Boulter back to her best.
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He continued: “ For me, more than anything, I just loved to see her back. You know, I think this is back where she belongs.
“And, you know, in no time she will be even higher than ever. I think she’s got an incredible level, and, you know, she’s been showing it all this grass season. Yeah, I’m very proud of her.”
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