In Depth

Five things you didn’t know about Katie Boulter

The rising British talent is playing at Wimbledon today

Up-and-coming tennis star Katie Boulter is taking on Japan’s Naomi Osaka today at Wimbledon today after the bright new British hope claimed her first ever win at the tournament earlier this week.

Leicester-born Boulter, 21, came close to beating US player Christina McHale when she made her Wimbledon debut last year. Since then, she had climbed the world rankings and is now nearing the top 100, the Daily Mail reports.

Here are five things you may not know about Boulter:

Her mum quit her job to focus on her daughter’s tennis

Boulton, who was raised in the small Leicestershire village of Woodhouse Eaves, “first picked up a racket at the age of four, and her early promise saw her mother Sue put on hold her own career as a tennis coach to support her daughter’s ambitions,” says The Daily Telegraph.

That sacrifice “paid off”, continues the newspaper, with the young talent representing Great Britain by the age of eight.

“My mum was a tennis coach and really one of the first people to really believe in me,” said Boulter last week. “Even though she’s not my coach now she’s definitely my No. 1 fan and will be supporting me next week.

“Looking back on it, I’m really not sure how we did it, but it was very much a family effort. My mum would drive me to practice before or after school and my grandpa Brian would drive me across the country from match to match at the weekends.”

Illness almost ended her tennis career

Boulter was sidelined for almost a year with chronic fatigue syndrome and “had trouble making it through the day”, the Daily Mail reports.

She said: “Two years ago now I was out for a year, so I didn’t play tennis at all. So I have to be very careful with my body and how far I push it.”

Boulter told the Telegraph that it was “devastating” to see her ranking “plummet” during this time, adding: “I’m really proud of myself for fighting back.”

She has a large social media following

Boulton is “very popular on social media”, building “an army of Instagram followers who have fallen in love” with her, says regional news site LeicestershireLive.

She currently has more than 45,000 followers on Instagram and more than 11,000 followers on Twitter.

She marked her first Wimbledon win with a celebratory Instagram post:

She’s a model for Nike

Boulter recently added modelling to her CV, after appearing in Nike’s new autumn/winter 2018 Tech Pack campaign, in which she sports the brand’s tennis whites, Vogue reports.

“I’ve had quite a few standout moments this year,” Boulter told the fashion magazine. “It feels a little surreal because I remember seeing Serena [Williams] and Maria Sharapova in the Nike campaigns when I was a junior player.

“I’m so proud to be in a campaign for my favourite brand. I practically live in Nike on and off the court, though when I do occasionally get dressed up I love wearing Burberry and Balmain.”

Serena Williams is her role model

Boulter draws inspiration from the seven-time Wimbledon champion, who has been her idol since childhood. 

“She’s a woman who through sheer hard work and talent has overcome so many barriers to become the best tennis player in the world,” Boulter told Vogue. “Without question, she’s the player I most look up to.”

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