Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Tennis Wild Card Katie Will Be an Inspiration for British Girls' WIMBLEDON 2017

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Tennis Wild Card Katie Will Be an Inspiration for British Girls' WIMBLEDON 2017

Article excerpt

Byline: Lizzie Edmonds and David Churchill

RISING British tennis star Katie Boulter was today hailed as an "inspiration" by Judy Murray as her son began his defence of the Wimbledon title.

Boulter, 20, is set to make her debut at the All England Club after managing to overcome an injury-plagued 2016. She is one of four British wild cards in the women's singles along with Naomi Broady, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.

Judy Murray said Boulter's success was bound to "captivate" young people across the country: "Katie Boulter will have a spotlight on her. She is just like other girls of her age, she likes music and dining, all those kinds of things that helps a lot of young girls get into the sport. She will be an inspiration, for sure."

Based in Leicestershire, Boulter, currently at 235 in the world rankings, broke into the top 300 this year. She is set to play American Christina McHale in the first round tomorrow.

She took up tennis aged four when her mother Susan, a tennis coach, spotted her talent and put her own career on hold. Her brother James Gartshore-Boulter said the family were incredibly proud of her and wanted her to go out and enjoy herself.

Her former coach told of her "grit and determination" at overcoming a fracture in her playing arm as a teenager. It stopped her competing for several months and saw a slip down to about 450th in the world junior rankings.

Luke Milligan, 40 who made it to the third round of Wimbledon in 1996 said: "We had to work very hard to get her over the injury but she did it within eight months and went to 23rd in the junior ranks, an amazing achievement. It really was testament to her grit and determination. It's very difficult to come back from that sort of injury in such a short space of time, it's a glimpse into someone's character.

"On a grass court she has a big game, she hits through the court. If she can get her game out she can trouble a lot of people." Murray, the former captain of Britain's Fed Cup team, added: "She must be an exciting prospect. …

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