After beating Karolina Pliskova, runner-up at SW19 a year ago, in the second round, hopes were high that Boulter could continue her best ever Grand Slam performance with another strong display.
But she never got going against Tan, who knocked out Serena Williams in her opening match, as the Frenchwoman produced a 51-minute demolition job to win 6-1 6-1.
There were 21 unforced errors from the Boulter racquet, with just 8 winners, as a really positive grass-court season came to an end in brutal fashion.
“Yeah, I think I’m just a little bit emotionally drained, if I’m honest,” Boulter said in her post-match press conference.
“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.
“I’m a little bit mentally tapped out. It’s been a big push for me every single day. I was probably tired going into this tournament.”
Court 2 was barely half full when play got underway just after 11am and when the seats did start to fill up, it was not good news for fans hoping to see another memorable British victory.
With the help of a couple of net cords Tan broke in Boulter’s opening service game, the two comfortable holds either side of that moving her 3-0 up before the Brit had time to settle.
Boulter had to save a break point before holding and getting herself on the board, but the double break soon came. The unforced errors from the Brit’s racket were all too regular and she gifted Tan complete control. A rapid game later and Tan had wrapped up the first set 6-1 in 27 minutes, sealed with consecutive aces.
Hopes that Boulter would grow into the match in the second set lasted barely more than minute as Tan broke to love and then reeled off four straight points on serve to lead 2-0.
The Brit got herself up and running in the set and then took Tan to deuce on the Frenchwoman’s serve - that was as close as she got to a break all match though. Boulter found herself 0-40 down and though she saved two break points, a backhand pass from Tan was good enough to move within two games of victory.
A hold to love from Tan asked the question of whether Boulter could at least extend the match but, serving at 5-1 down, the errors continued to come from the Brit and a double fault to gift Tan victory was unfortunately a fitting conclusion.