British No 1 Katie Boulter was left in shock after overcoming a Just Stop Oil protest in her first-round match against Daria Saville to win at Wimbledon, but Jodie Burrage and Heather Watson tumbled out on Wednesday.

Boulter was trailing 4-2 in the first-set tie-break when a protester ran on Court 18 and threw confetti and jigsaw pieces just two hours after a first protest.

But, after a small delay, Boulter won the following five points to claim the first set and then raced through the second set to reach the second round thanks to a fine 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory.

Katie Boulter celebrates as she wins the first set against Daria Saville (not pictured) on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023.
Katie Boulter celebrates making it through to the second round of Wimbledon

She admitted to being in “shock” at what happened, but thinks the tournament will react accordingly.

Asked if she was worried, Boulter replied: “Definitely, you never know what it is. I think I heard the crowd before I saw anything.

“Then I realised what it was because I saw it in the previous match. It was obviously a little bit of a shock to the system. I think we both handled it really well. It’s a really unfortunate situation for everyone.

“I wouldn’t say I felt in danger. I was quite far away from it. I was walking the opposite side.

“I’m pretty sure there will be a reaction to what’s been happening and there will be more security in place or whatever they need to do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

“I’m not worried about it. I’m just going to be focusing on myself. I’m going to keep playing tennis. That’s where I’m going to be. Yeah, hopefully we roll into a few more days.”

The 26-year-old is enjoying an impressive run, having won her maiden WTA Tour title in Nottingham at the start of the grass-court season, and as the highest-ranked Briton she will have designs on a deep run at her home Grand Slam.

Katie Boulter looks on as ground staff clear confetti from court 18 after a Just Stop Oil protester invaded the court on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023.
Boulter helped the groundstaff in the clean-up operation on Court 18

Boulter had to do it the hard way, though, as she had to resume the match – which was suspended 28 hours earlier due to bad rain – serving to stay in the first set, but delivered a service hold to love.

But after just 10 points of the resumption, and trailing 4-2 in the tie-break, a protester ran onto court and play was suspended again.

Along with Saville, she helped the groundstaff in the clean-up operation and the mini-break seemed to work wonders for her as she reeled off five successive points in the tie-break to claim the first set.

Four more followed as she won the first game of the second set to love and that set the tone for what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon.

She won four of the next six games before serving out an impressive victory.

A show-court appearance will probably now lie in wait in her second-round match against Bernarda Pera or Viktoriya Tomova.

Burrage admitted nerves got the better of her on her Centre Court debut as she tumbled out of Wimbledon in front of David Beckham.

Former England captain Beckham watched from the Royal Box as Britain’s Burrage was routed 6-0 6-2 by Russian 11th seed Daria Kasatkina.

“It was a good experience. Obviously not the result that I wanted. The first set was pretty brutal,” said Burrage, 24.

“But all in all, you dream to be out on Centre Court. When I found out yesterday, it’s so exciting.

“In the same breath, you’ve got to deal with those nerves as well. I wish I could have settled a little bit earlier today. But you’ve got to go through these experiences to feel more comfortable in the next ones.

“So, yeah, it was a tough day, but also one of my dreams came true.”

Burrage arrived on court with high hopes after reaching the Nottingham final last month and then knocking out Caty McNally on Monday for her first win at a Grand Slam and a likely place in the top 100.

But she found herself staring down the barrel of a humiliating ‘double-bagel’ in the second round after dropping the first set without winning a game in 19 chastening minutes.

David Beckham in the royal box of centre court on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023.
Jodie Burrage was starstruck after hearing David Beckham would be watching her match in the Royal Box

She was then unable to hold serve before a rain delay and, despite some admirable resistance upon the resumption, Kasatkina clinically closed out the match in exactly one hour.

“I mean, having the people who were in that box out there watching you. I actually didn’t see who was in there,” added Burrage.

“When you’re on the court, it’s hard to see who is in there. You don’t want to really look and stare.

“Then during the rain delay, they obviously had the cameras around, and in the room we’re in I obviously saw David Beckham was announced. ‘Oh my God, David Beckham is watching me play tennis right now’. And I was at 6-0 2-2.”

British No 5 Heather Watson exited Wimbledon in round one after a 6-2 7-5 defeat to 10th seed Barbora Krejcikova.

Watson made the fourth round in 2022, her best run at the All England Club, and enjoyed herself on Court One last summer but it was a different story this time.

Sonay Kartal, the 21-year-old wild card, was overpowered by Madison Keys with her stay on court a brief one as 25th seed Keys blasted her way to a 6-0 6-3 victory.

Arthur Fery showed his potential on his Wimbledon debut despite a straight-sets loss to third seed Daniil Medvedev.

The 20-year-old, ranked 391, matched his illustrious opponent in the first set before a rain delay disrupted things and he eventually fell to a 7-5 6-4 6-3 loss.

George Loffhagen after defeat to Holger Rune (not pictured) on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023.
George Loffhagen put up a fine challenge in his defeat to sixth seed Holger Rune

George Loffhagen saw his debut end in a straight-sets defeat to sixth seed Holger Rune.

Loffhagen, world No 371, had pushed the Danish player hard during the first set on Tuesday before he was edged out in a tie-breaker and rain forced the clash to be suspended.

Rune upped his level when the first-round tie resumed on Wednesday afternoon and made it through 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2.

Boulter and boyfriend De Minar team up for mixed doubles

Boulter will play mixed doubles with Australian boyfriend Alex De Minaur at Wimbledon.

The pair are one of the highest-profile couples in tennis and, having supported each other court-side on many occasions, they will now be on the same side of the net for the first time.

Boulter and De Minaur, who will face Australian duo Storm Hunter and John Peers in the first round, are not the only off-court couple in the draw.

World No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Spain’s Paula Badosa, who recently made their relationship public, are also playing together and will take on top seeds Austin Krajicek and Jessica Pegula.

Other notable pairings are all-British duos Heather Watson and Joe Salisbury and Jodie Burrage and Lloyd Glasspool, while Jamie Murray will play with American Taylor Townsend.

Britain’s Neal Skupski and American Desirae Krawczyk, meanwhile, are bidding for their third successive title.


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