Alex de Minaur may have faced a local favorite in Jack Draper on Thursday at Wimbledon, but the Aussie was not entirely without the support of the British contingent in the crowd during his second-round victory.
The 19th-seeded Aussie’s girlfriend, WTA player Katie Boulter, encouraged him to win 5-7, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-3 against #NextGenATP Briton Draper at the Grand Slam over the grass. Just hours earlier, it was De Minaur who played cheerleader from the stands as Boulter beat sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in the second round on the court. central. .
Speaking at his post-match press conference, De Minaur spoke of the extra positivity Boulter’s heroics had brought him before he stepped onto the pitch for his own match.
“I think it’s amazing. What he was able to do today was an incredible effort,” he said of Boulter. The 25-year-old dedicated her win to her grandmother, who passed away earlier in the week. “I mean, under all the circumstances, she went out on center court and beat last year’s runner-up. So, I think that’s pretty special.
“I’m happy for her. This is her home slam. She gets to enjoy it. I know she was a little nervous going in, but she came out and put on a brilliant performance.”
As both aim to reach the fourth round on grass at SW19 for the first time, De Minaur and Boulter have spoken of their mutual respect for each other’s work ethic as they seek success on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour, respectively.
“He’s someone I admire a lot on and off the tennis court,” said Boulter, who is currently ranked 118th in the WTA Rankings and faces France’s Harmony Tan in her third-round match. “He is the epitome of a fighter and someone who goes out there and gives it his all every day. This is how I aspire to be. I feel like having that around me and my team really helps me because I can push myself. He helps me do that.
“He’s probably one of the hardest working guys out there. I try to take a page out of his book because he’s really impressive. I’m very lucky to be in the position I’m in, to be able to see him day in and day out.”
Katie Boulter (right) celebrates Alex de Minaur’s victory over Jack Draper at Wimbledon on Thursday. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.
“For me, more than anything, I loved seeing her back,” De Minaur said of Boulter, a former World No. 82 who has struggled with injuries in recent years. “I think this is where she belongs, and before long, she’ll be taller than ever. I think she has an incredible level and she’s been showing it all this grass season. I’m very proud of her”.
De Minaur faces another Brit next at Wimbledon with wild card Liam Broady. The 23-year-old Aussie is targeting his first fourth-round appearance at the grass-court Grand Slam, and Boulter doesn’t think it will be long before the Aussie is widely recognized as a top contender in the latter stages of the Grand Slams. Slams.
“Without a doubt. I mean, he’s got the game for it,” Boulter said. “We’ve seen him play a lot of amazing matches against the best players. He can beat them. Ultimately, those are the matches that will give him the limelight. I know the work he puts in will give it to him.”
With both leading busy lives on the Tour, De Minaur and Boulter enjoy the weeks where their schedules overlap. Even when he relaxes away from the pitch, the Briton acknowledged that their mutual passion for the game is something that still shines through.
“Actually we do [watch tennis] probably more than most people would think,” Boulter said. “I feel like we both love the game and are students of the sport.
“We like to be a part of that. Of course, we spend a lot of time together during these times and appreciate those times when we can be in the same place at the same time. Ultimately, we both travel 30 weeks a year. We don’t always get a chance to see each other.
“The travel weeks are probably the best weeks for us.”