Katie Boulter crashes out of Wimbledon

Katie Boulter crashes out of Wimbledon in JUST 51 minutes… as the British wildcard suffers a heavy third round defeat against Serena Williams- conqueror Harmony Tan

  • Katie Boulter faced Harmony Tan in the third round of Wimbledon on Saturday
  • Tan beat Serena Williams in the first round and continued her fine form here
  • Boulter was only able to win two games in the match as she crashed out at SW19
  • Boulter’s exit means there are just two Brits left in the singles at Wimbledon 
  • To follow our live coverage of the action at Wimbledon – click here 

At the centre of attention but on the fringes of the grounds, Katie Boulter’s heartening charge at Wimbledon came to a subdued conclusion on Saturday. The defeat on her big day will sting, though the manner of it will hurt considerably more.

It was brutal and decisive, underwhelming and magnificent, depending on which side of the divide you called for – the plucky underdog from Britain or the plucky underdog from France. Sadly for home interests, Harmony Tan was relentlessly good and Boulter just didn’t turn up.

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She was crushed, pushed off the rollercoaster in 51 minutes by a woman having the time of her life. We can likely make the argument that this match would have been tighter, a little more balanced, if Boulter had been given an appointment on Centre Court rather than Court 2, as seemed appropriate after she beat last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova to reach the third round.

Boulter suffered a heavy loss against Harmony Tan on Saturday in the third round

Boulter could not get a foothold in the match as Tan dominated from start to finish

Boulter could not get a foothold in the match as Tan dominated from start to finish

But significantly different? Different enough to sway the result? Not many would take up that shaky position on the basis of how Tan, the slayer of Serena Williams in a first-round classic, won this match.

She broke serve four times, didn’t face so much as a break point on her delivery, and repeatedly sent the British wild card into a fluster with her spins, ingenuity and accuracy – her 16 winners were offset by just five unforced errors. The world No 90 is a danger to anyone at this stage.

She controlled this one from the very first point, which Boulter shanked long off a forehand. If there was a surprise, beyond the scheduling of an 11am start on an outside arena, it was that so few people were there to see it. The crowd did grow, but they hardly had time to take a seat before it was clear the home charge was waning.

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In that exposed environment, with none of the shielding offered by the prime show courts, the wind became a factor. Boulter was grumbling about it in the opening two games, in which she was quickly broken and snapped a string. None of the signs were in her favour.

Harmony Tan continued her fantastic run at Wimbledon to move into the fourth round

Harmony Tan continued her fantastic run at Wimbledon to move into the fourth round

The Brit finally got on the board for 3-1 but that would be her last game for some time. Tan closed out the set 6-1 with a pair of aces; the better player getting fair reward against a home player struggling for rhythm and growing increasingly agitated.

Tan broke immediately in the second set and again for 4-1. At the decisive point in that fifth game she had chased down a lob and retrieved with a tweener before celebrating by raising her arms in the air. The match was as good as over and everyone knew it.

A hold to love moved Tan to 5-1 and her entourage could be seen laughing at the procession of it all. It was over in a blink.

It will still rank as a fine sporting week for Boulter, who achieved her best Slam run at the age of 25 against the personal pain of losing her grandmother earlier in the tournament. If she can stay clear of injuries, which has always been easier said than done for her, then with some luck she will be back before long.

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