Daily Mirror

IT’S LOVE ALL FOR KATIE

- EXCLUSIVE BY MATTHEW DUNN

SOMETIMES it is something as simple as having somebody to row with over whose turn it is to make dinner.

Wimbledon’s pressure cooker will be turned up to full as usual – not least for the home players.

But for British No.3 Katie Boulter, it is a problem shared, as she is happily settled with Australia’s No.20 seed Alex de Minaur (both above).

“I would say there is more chance that I am cooking rather than him,” said 25-year-old Boulter.

“Although he has no excuse as his dad owns a restaurant!”

Many tennis players complain of loneliness on tour, so does a couple who first got together in March 2020 have a mental advantage?

Boulter (below) said: “Just to wake up every day and to have good vibes around you makes a real difference, it really does. Tennis is quite a tough sport but it is very rewarding.

“To have somebody there who knows what that’s like has been a really big support, such as being in the gym with me when I was doing rehab after this last injury.”

Any rustiness was quickly shaken off with a run to the quarter-finals at Birmingham.

That was followed by an impressive win against Karolina Plishkova – her first over a top 10-ranked woman – while former Wimbledon champ Petra

Kvitova had to fight hard to see Boulter off in three sets at Eastbourne. In the first round at Wimbledon, Boulter will face France’s Clara Burel.

De Minaur, too, looked relaxed on court at Eastbourne where he reached the semi-finals and he admits “coupling up” away from the tennis has benefits for him too. “We’re on the same page,” said the 23-year-old, who meets Hugo Dellien at SW19.

“We both know that we’ve got our careers first and that’s a given,” said De Minaur. “Then, if we have spare time here and there, we are normally pretty good at making the effort to travel and see each other.”

Of course, there has had to be some sacrifices but to Boulter’s mind one of them has been non-negotiable.

“I’ve had to watch Real Madrid a couple of times and there are many other things that he is interested in, too” she added.

“But I have forced him to go a couple of times to the King Power Stadium and I don’t care what he says, he is officially a Leicester fan.

“He doesn’t have a choice.”

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