Mixed day for British tennis as Katie Boulter digs deep to win while Jack Draper goes down fighting
Katie Boulter got Britain on the board at Wimbledon with victory over Danielle Lao, while Jack Draper showed his potential by taking a set off Novak Djokovic.
Boulter is ranked down at 219 but she is undoubtedly a better player than that and has shown on many occasions that big stages bring the best out of her.
She had a kind draw against American qualifier Lao, making her Wimbledon debut at the age of 30, but had to battle from a set down and 1-3 in the deciding set to win 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4.
This one meant a lot. Round ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/LyLcGcWWzz
— Katie Boulter (@katiecboulter) June 28, 2021
Boulter, who next faces second seed Aryna Sabalenka, said: “Obviously, having been absent for a couple years, it really means so much. Ultimately it wasn’t pretty out there. I knew it wasn’t going to be. But I fought so hard, found a way. I feel like that’s what tennis is really about.”
Nineteen-year-old Draper found himself making his Wimbledon debut on Centre Court against the man going for a 20th grand slam title and third in a row at the All England Club.
He said he would embrace the occasion and certainly did, demonstrating what makes him such an exciting talent by clinching the opening set before Djokovic fought back to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
He said: “I didn’t want to give him too much respect. I wanted to win the match today. I wasn’t looking to put in a good performance and lose.
“To win a set against Novak Djokovic on my Wimbledon debut is something I won’t forget. Hopefully in years to come I can improve on that.”
Katie Swan was the first British woman to come through Wimbledon qualifying in 20 years.
But her stay at the Championships was a short one after a straight-sets defeat against experienced American Madison Keys.
Keys, a former US Open finalist and seeded 23rd, won 6-3, 6-4.
Swan, 22, said: “I’m obviously disappointed not to come through. But Madison is a great player and I knew it would be tough.
“With some nerves going into the match, it was tough to get into it. I felt like I missed some chances – they were few and far between and, when I did get one, I didn’t execute it. Positives to take but I’m disappointed.
“I played on Court Three a few years ago and got destroyed, so I think I did myself a bit more justice.”
Jodie Burrage’s Wimbledon debut was short-lived, the 22-year-old losing 6-2, 6-1 to American Lauren Davis.
Burrage said: “I have been looking forward to this for a long time and actually thought that’s why what happened in the match happened.
“I underestimated how nervous I was a little bit. I knew I would be nervous obviously, first Wimbledon and my first main draw at a slam. It is new territory for me. I didn’t handle it the best.”
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