Katie Boulter dedicates Wimbledon win to late grandmother - as Britons win big on day four

·4 min read

Wimbledon fans broke down in tears after British wildcard Katie Boulter dedicated her stunning win over last year's finalist Karolina Pliskova to her grandmother who died just two days ago.

The 25-year-old player from Leicester said she was "shaking" after the biggest triumph of her career before dedicating it to her grandmother.

Her mother, Sue Boulter, beamed with pride as she witnessed her daughter triumph over the Czech Republic's Pliskova from the player's box.

British number three Boulter prevailed 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 on Centre Court to make it back-to-back wins over the sixth seed, having beaten her more experienced opponent in Eastbourne last week.

She was able to counter Pliskova's huge serve and thrived off the home crowd to come back from a set down.

Boulter now steps into unchartered waters at the Championships and will take on Harmony Tan, Serena Williams' victor, in the third round.

She is one of three British stars to see success at Wimbledon on Thursday, the fourth day of the tournament.

Liam Broady spent nearly four hours on court against No 12 Diego Schwartzman, playing in only his third fifth-set match against the Argentinian. He overcame a run of 11 games against him to prevail 6-2 4-6 0-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.

The wildcard described it as the "biggest win" of his career and he'll take on either Alex de Minaur or compatriot Jack Draper next.

Meanwhile, British number four Heather Watson is preparing to seize her moment and attempt to make the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time.

She needed only eight minutes on Thursday to wrap up a 7-5 6-4 win over Chinese star Wang Qiang after bad light had brought proceedings on Court 18 to an early end at 9pm the night before.

But it wasn't all good news for team GB, as Heather Dart slipped to a narrow 4-6 6-3 6-1 defeat against American number eight seed Jessica Pegula.

The British number two started the match in a flurry and later admitted frustration at how she let Pegula back into the clash.

Following Boulter's victory today, she said with emotion: "I've got absolutely no words, I'm literally shaking.

"The crowd was unbelievable, thank you so much for getting me through that."

She then revealed that the match had fallen at an extremely difficult time for her and her family, who were watching in the player's box on Centre Court.

"I'm going to get emotional. My gran passed away two days ago so I'd just like to dedicate that to her today," she said.

Centre Court spectators echoed her emotions following the match and said the win had sparked more excitement for team GB in the tournament after Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu crashed out last night.

One fan, Samia Gomez, 40, said she cried when Boulter spoke about her grandmother.

"I cried at the end when she said her grandmother died just two days ago," she said. "I'm rooting for Iga Swiatek and (Rafael) Nadal, but I think we need to support all the British players.

"We are in the UK, this is a British grand slam, and Katie Boulter shows we're here to see really true champions."

Meanwhile, Josh Moses, 33, witnessed Boulter's win from the side-lines with his girlfriend Stephanie Bridges, also 33, and said they felt her passionate feeling.

"We got very emotional and very stuck into the game, and we felt her emotion as well, so it was really special," he said.

"You could see that every point that she won, it motivated her even more, you could see what it meant to her and the crowd got more and more behind her as well."

Ms Bridges added: "It was really special to see a Brit win at home - really good.

"She's one to watch."

This was the second year in a row playing on Centre Court for Boulter, after her narrow loss to semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka in the second round last year.

Sabalenka's run was ended by Pliskova, who reached the final, but this season the Czech missed the Australian Open with a broken arm and has not managed to find true momentum.

With the confidence of having beaten Pliskova recently, Boulter kept her opponent at arm's length throughout the final set.

She then coolly served it out and when a final volley went into the open court, Boulter beamed at the crowd and at her family after an emotional win.

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