A drained Katie Boulter admitted she ran out of steam as her Wimbledon run ended in disappointing fashion with a one-sided defeat by Harmony Tan in the third round.
Boulter produced the best result of her career by upsetting last year’s runner-up Karolina Pliskova on Thursday but was unable to get into the match against Tan, who has built on her first-round victory over Serena Williams brilliantly and is through to the last 16 at a grand slam for the first time.
Tan, ranked three places higher than Boulter at 115, was in control from the start and eased to a 6-1, 6-1 victory in just 51 minutes.
Boulter went into Wimbledon on the back of strong performances in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne but has been enduring a tough time off court and was in tears during her on-court interview on Thursday after revealing her grandmother died earlier this week.
The 25-year-old said: “I think I’m just a little bit emotionally drained, if I’m honest. It’s been a long few weeks. I’m not going to even talk about this week. I think this week was the cherry on top.
“But I’ve been working so hard for a long period of time, getting through an injury to start with is a huge, huge struggle, and I made it through, and I’m here and played some amazing tennis week in, week out. I’ve played a lot of matches. I sort of went from zero to a hundred quite quickly.
“This week has probably been the tipping point. I’ve played some great matches. It’s also been very emotional. I think today was one step too far for me. Credit to her, she was playing some tough, tough tennis. Clearly it was a bit much.”
Wimbledon organisers faced criticism for not scheduling Boulter on a bigger court after her exploits against Pliskova, and there were plenty of empty seats on Court Two when play began at 11am.
Tan felt the decision helped her, saying: “When you play a Brit on Centre Court, I think there is a lot of people for her. I like to play on a small court.”
Boulter had no complaints, though, adding: “You’re supposed to put the best matches there are out there on Centre Court and on Court One. We’ve got Iga (Swiatek) who is out there on an I don’t know how many match winning streak. I would never expect to be put ahead of players like that.”