Aryna Sabalenka finds her rhythm to hold off Katie Boulter at Wimbledon
Great Britain’s Katie Boulter threatened a major Wimbledon upset against second seed Aryna Sabalenka on Centre Court.
Football fan Boulter, who supports Leicester and trained in an England shirt on Tuesday, had said she hoped the nation’s memorable victory over Germany would spur on Britain’s tennis hopefuls this week.
It certainly seemed to have done the trick for a set and a half for the 24-year-old, who looked on the verge of her biggest career win to date.
Pushed all the way 💪
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 30, 2021
But Sabalenka came back to disappoint a raucous Centre Court crowd with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 second-round victory.
Not that the deciding set was a stroll for Sabalenka, although Boulter will rue a Hawkeye decision as she was about to walk back to her seat.
Sabalenka’s ball, called out, had in fact shaved the line by the width of a blade of grass.
Sabalenka duly broke – but in an epic seventh game Boulter forced six break points with some glorious shot-making, including an exquisite drop-shot and lob combination.
However, the 23-year-old from Minsk repelled the lot and brave Boulter’s chance had finally gone.
“It was a tough match, she’s an unbelievable player,” said Sabalenka. “It was a great atmosphere from the beginning to the end.
“Of course I was nervous today and didn’t feel the court from the beginning but I’m glad I got my rhythm in the second set.
“I have one question guys, will you support me like this in the next round?”
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