Boulter Downs Wimbledon Finalist Pliskova For First Career Win Over Top-10 Player

Katie Boulter dug deep to complete a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over last year's Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova
17:30, 21 Jun 2022

It was just about as Serena Williams was hitting up with new doubles opponent Ons Jabeur on an outside court that Leicester’s Katie Boulter took headline matters into her own hands on the Centre Court – creating a sensation on the south coast by pulling off the finest win of her career. 

After last year’s Wimbledon singles finalist Karolina Pliskova comfortably claimed the first set of their last-32 match at Eastbourne 6-1, there was very little indication of what was to follow. But the home support were given a day to remember at the Rothesay International as the 25-year-old Boulter dug very deep and roared back to complete a hugely significant 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. 

The 30-year-old No4 seed Pliskova, ranked 120 places higher in the world than Boulter at No7 and a former No1, suddenly found her opponent getting to get grips with her serve and having to fight a lot harder after the first-set breeze. And it was the delighted Brit that won the scrap to surge into the last 16, and give Boulter a real boost ahead of next week when she once again has a wildcard place in the draw at Wimbledon.


A real push up the rankings now, and the need for wildcards in the draws of the big events may no longer be necessary. Boulter has suffered her fair share of debilitating injuries that have hampered her progress in the sport. A serious back problem hit her hard in 2019 after breaking into the top 100 for the first time, and there have been various niggling issues since. 

Boulter did have to withdraw with a leg injury in Lyon earlier this year – but that came after winning a fourth ITF title in Grenoble in February, where she beat Anna Blinkova in the final.

Still beaming, she said: “It is a massive win for me today, and I am super proud of myself. I didn’t feel great on the court and I worked so hard to get out there and battle and fight. 

“Against a player like that, it means so much to me coming through that. After the first set I just tried to stay with her on serve. She was serving well but I had some opportunities, a few 40-15s that I let go of and just didn’t take my chances. And I think that’s what made the difference, closing out those games and staying with her as much as I could. 

“It needed some concentration and belief that I could get over the line. And I felt that as I stayed with her, it became harder for her to hold serve. I got more chances, got the break and it got better from there. I felt like I was exerting a lot of pressure, and her service games were going to ads. 

“My heart rate hasn’t come down yet, I am still pulsing but it was a tremendous match and I’m not going to lie, I am just so happy that last ball went out. The support out there have given me goosebumps, so I’d like to thank the crowd so much.  

“It means a lot to get that first top-10 win, it is something I have been chasing and worked so hard for. I have genuinely felt my level was there to beat top-10 players and over time you get more belief as you go along. I played Karolina one time before a few years ago - it was a close match but I wasn’t quite there yet. So I am proud of myself today. 

“It is great to have the opportunity to be playing on the grass, there is such a tradition of it in this country. It is one of the most incredible times of year and having that home support means so much. I think they got me over the line. I have been working so hard on myself physically and I feel that is starting to pay off. I have more to do and not everything is perfect, but I am getting there. 

“My plan is not to be taking any wildcards, and that is always where I have tried to get myself to – and I feel unfortunate with some of the injuries I have had. A couple of freak accidents, and a couple that were a long time coming. I feel grateful and privileged to have a Wimbledon wildcard and have that chance, because not many people get it. 

“The consistency I am after has not been there for many years through all the injuries, and that is what I want to get – it is one of my main goals and that is how you get your ranking up by doing it week in and week out. But that is a challenge, and it is not easy. I have a new physio on board, and I hope that will help. I believe things click if you have the right people around you. 

“My inner core personality means that no matter how difficult the situation with injuries or on the court, I will be fighting. I had a perspective shift this year with some things happening off the court, important things that needed taking care of, close family members that were quite ill. That was hard, but made me more aware that on the court you can just go out and enjoy yourself.” 

Betfred's Wimbledon 2022 - women's singles odds*

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