Katie Boulter and Liam Broady in action on a Wimbledon Super Saturday
Will this be a Super Saturday for Britain’s Wimbledon heroes? Katie Boulter will try to follow up her emotional second round triumph in her next showdown, while Liam Broady’s unlikely last-16 tilt continues
- British tennis stars Katie Boulter and Liam Broady both return to Wimbledon
- Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas will face off in the standout Saturday action
- The two will go head-to-head on Court One for a place in the fourth round
- Meanwhile, favourite Boulter will look to follow up her second round heroics
An array of British sporting heroes will, as is now traditional, occupy the Royal Box on Wimbledon’s middle Saturday.
Unfortunately for them, they will not be watching any of their compatriots in action, nor what promises to be the match of the tournament so far — Nick Kyrgios versus Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The early bird will catch Katie Boulter trying to follow up on her emotional triumph of Thursday as she attempts to make the fourth round. Her demotion and the 11am start time are one of those unfathomable things the All England Club do, but Centre Court’s loss is the gain of 4,000 fans with tickets to Court 2.
Katie Boulter was demoted to Court Two despite heroics performed on Centre Court this week
Those on Court 1 will witness Kyrgios versus himself and the fourth seed from Greece, plus Liam Broady’s unlikely tilt at the last 16 against Australia’s Alex De Minaur.
Boulter and De Minaur find themselves cast as the first couple of Wimbledon on this pivotal day. The bizarre scheduling means they will have difficulty supporting each other as they undertake their third-round duties, although that is incidental.
Boulter faces Harmony Tan, of France, for a place in the last 16, as she and Heather Watson step into the role that had been earmarked for Emma Raducanu.
The Boulter-De Minaur relationship is a nice dimension to it all, but it is also of some serious relevance to the way the British No 4 has been able to overcome so many obstacles in her career. After a litany of injuries, these were added to this week by the death of her grandmother on Tuesday.
Alex de Minaur (above) will hope to progress to the next round with a win against Liam Broady
According to her coach, Jeremy Bates, the presence of the Australian No 1 in her life has been a key factor to withstanding the turbulence.
‘Alex is an unbelievable role model,’ said former British No 1 Bates. ‘He’s a very classy guy, and he’s a maximizer with everything he does.
‘I know him pretty well now and he’s a very genuine guy. He works hard and is industrious. He gets everything out of himself and they are very good for each other.’
Boulter won an array of new fans with her victory over 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova under difficult circumstances, amid emotional scenes on the Centre Court. ‘The whole family is so proud of the way Katie performed and how she continues to deal with whatever is thrown in her path,’ said her mother, Sue.
Now she faces Tan, a fascinating if little-known player who is something of a throwback in that she relies on guile and variety rather than being able to muscle the ball. Just as she asked Serena Williams to generate her own power when beating her in the first round, she will do the same to Boulter.
Britain’s Boulter next takes on Harmony Tan (pictured) in the third round clash on Saturday
Tan’s week has hardly lacked drama, either. She had a very public falling out with doubles partner Tamara Korpatsch, who had been trolling her on social media. The German had been furious that Tan pulled out of their doubles match with supposed injury to focus on singles, and after Tan’s second-round win Korpatsch sarcastically posted: ‘Amazing week for you, I’m glad your leg injury get better so quickly’.
Boulter against Tan will be a question of whether the Brit’s heavy groundstrokes can overwhelm her opponent. Their contest looks more evenly matched than De Minaur versus Broady, with the cheerful world No 132 from Stockport having to contend with the lightning foot speed of his opponent from Sydney. More eyes globally are bound to be on his mercurial compatriot Kyrgios, who will show whether he is serious about winning Wimbledon or not.
If he can get past the gifted Greek, a path will open up to the semi-finals, in which his opponent is scheduled to be Rafael Nadal.
Much will depend on which version of Kyrgios turns up. Will it be the one who stays calm and wants to stick it to his critics, or the one inclined to wallow in a sense of victimhood that stems from unfulfilled promise?
Nick Kygrios (pictured) has the opportunity to write history with a win over Stefanos Tsitsipas
In a tournament with a surfeit of unusual outcomes — you wonder if the lack of ranking points is having some intangible effect — Kyrgios going deep would be among the lesser surprises.
Two weeks ago in Halle he defeated the same player, with whom he shares a partial Greek heritage through his father.
Yet this is a different Tsitsipas on grass from what we have seen in recent years. He has taken his preparation very seriously and won the title in Majorca last week.
It is an enticing prospect, if a shame for those in the Royal Box and on the rest of Centre Court that they have to content themselves with the less mouthwatering fare of Paula Badosa versus Petra Kvitova.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article