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Katie Boulter backed to bother defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina | Tennis Information

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Anne Keothavong has backed Katie Boulter to offer “susceptible” defending champion Elena Rybakina a run for her cash at Wimbledon.

The British No 1 is thru to the third spherical for the second yr in a row and has been rewarded with a plum tie towards the third seed.

Rybakina has constructed impressively on her first grand slam title, reaching the ultimate of the Australian Open and successful the massive occasions in Indian Wells and Rome, however she got here into the occasion under-cooked after sickness and has seemed shaky at instances in her opening two matches.

Keothavong, the captain of Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup staff, mentioned of Boulter, who gained her first WTA Tour occasion in Nottingham final month: “She’s been taking part in some incredible tennis.

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Britain’s Katie Boulter says she is trying ahead to the subsequent spherical of Wimbledon towards Viktoriya Tomova after a ‘brutal’ match towards Daria Saville within the first spherical.

“It isn’t simply this match however over the previous few weeks. It is taken time for all of that to return collectively. And the most important factor is she’s been in a position to stay match and wholesome for a protracted time frame, which for Katie has all the time been a problem.

“It would not get any simpler once more however Rybakina hasn’t actually come into this yr’s champs taking part in plenty of tennis. I believe it is a good time for Katie to play towards her, or for anybody actually to play towards her, she has seemed susceptible at instances.

“And, if you happen to had been to be in Rybakina’s sneakers, you are up towards a British primary who’s well-liked, who the British public are actually conversant in, who can have the vast majority of that crowd supporting her, which is a state of affairs I do not assume Rybakina has discovered herself in actually anyplace all over the world too usually.

“Katie, she’s a big-match participant, she is going to completely adore it. It will not be a frightening expertise for her, which I believe is a giant factor. It isn’t the primary time for her going out on Centre Courtroom. Having had that earlier expertise, that may assist carry her.

“It is an amazing alternative. And it is one the place she will be able to swing with freedom and go on the market and play.”

Katie Boulter reacts during her match against Viktoriya Tomova (not pictured) on day four of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Thursday July 6, 2023.
Katie Boulter reacts throughout her match towards Viktoriya Tomova (not pictured) on day 4 of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership in Wimbledon. Image date: Thursday July 6, 2023.

Boulter claimed the most important victory of her profession to date within the second spherical final yr towards former finalist Karolina Pliskova on Centre Courtroom.

“I believe I’ve received the entire complete factor in my reminiscence,” she mentioned. “It was an unbelievable match. I nonetheless take into consideration the time that I served it out. That is one thing that I draw on.

“I am already excited to play towards a prime participant and have a go. I believe they’re the moments I get excited for as a result of finally it is a time for me to check myself.”

Boulter will hit a career-high rating round 70 even when she loses on Saturday and Keothavong highlighted the larger selection she has added to her sport beneath coach Biljana Veselinovic as a key think about her progress.

“You’ll be able to see she’s attempting to make use of the drop shot extra usually, she is attempting to look to make use of width extra usually,” mentioned Keothavong. “So it isn’t simply straight flat-ball hitting via the courtroom.

“And that is the work she has been doing and specializing in with Biljana. And I do assume Biljana has been incredible for her. The staff she has round her, they’re all good individuals. And he or she’s had some consistency there in that space.”

Katie Boulter and Alex de Minaur in doubles action at Wimbledon
Katie Boulter and Alex de Minaur in doubles motion at Wimbledon

Boulter can be very settled in her private life and was out on Courtroom 18 on Friday watching long-term boyfriend Alex De Minaur in his second-round loss to Matteo Berrettini.

Boulter has spoken about how a lot she has discovered from the Australian’s grounded nature, and Keothavong believes they’re a very good affect on one another.

“Alex is so all the way down to earth and so pretty,” mentioned the previous British primary. “They’re sickly in a really cute sort of manner.

“You’ll be able to inform how a lot they take care of one another and the way a lot they assist one another and it was nice to see him court-side supporting her after his match and also you see it inside their households as nicely.

“It is onerous sufficient being a tennis participant, the emotional highs and lows. You want individuals round you who’re going to remain level-headed and never look too far forward or get too excited however assist you maintain your ft on the bottom.”

Rybakina doesn’t anticipate the partisan ambiance to be an excessive amount of of a problem, saying: “For certain the ambiance goes to be a bit totally different. The group will not be supporting me that a lot.

“I am certain it may be good. Simply hopefully I’ll win this match. I am going to attempt my finest. She’s a troublesome participant. Her sport is aggressive. Additionally she has a very good serve. It should be robust one.”

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