Katie Boulter has opened up on the heartbreaking phone call she had with her grandfather which hinted her grandmother Jill was close to dying. The devastating news reached Boulter shortly after her first-round victory over Clara Burel at Wimbledon.
“I actually had a phone call from my grandpa the night before I played,” Boulter revealed. “He didn’t mention anything, but he kind of gave me the inkling that it might be coming.
“I didn’t know anything until after my first match where my mum basically pulled me aside and told me after the first match.”
Boulter recorded a personal milestone as she beat No 7 seed Karolina Pliskova to reach the third round for the first time on Thursday. The 25-year-old broke down in tears on Center Court when she shared the heart-wrenching news.
“Her favorite tournament was Wimbledon,” Boulter explained in her press conference. “That’s why it’s a special one for me. Yeah, she’d watch every single match that was on the TV.”
She added: “It’s been a tough few days for sure. As a general, I’ve tried to kind of get my emotions out and deal with the situation, try and keep my head on the tennis.
“I was lucky because my grandpa managed to come down from Leicester, and so we could keep him company and keep supporting him at the same time.”
Boulter takes on Serena Williams’ conqueror Harmony Tan in the next round and she is hoping to take inspiration from US Open winner Emma Raducanu to march into the latter stages.
“Hundred per cent, yeah. What she did was astonishing.,” Boulter said. “I think everyone in this room knows how incredible what she did. It doesn’t come every single day. She came out, she surprised everyone, and she played some fearless tennis. That’s what’s so impressive.
“I hope I can go out there and do the same thing. I’d love to do what she’s done. You never know, one day it might happen.”
She added: “Look, ultimately I’m going to keep working as hard as I possibly can. I’m going to get those wins at some point. I stick to that. I’ll stand by that and believe in myself.
“I’m sure I’m going to get there. It’s just a matter of time when that happens. Obviously it’s a really difficult situation for Wimbledon and the whole entire country. There’s not much you can do about it.
“Ultimately at the end of the day I’m a tennis player and I’ve got to keep my head down and do what I can. I’m so grateful to be here right now, given the opportunity to play this tournament, to be in the third round for the first time. It is something for me.”