Alex de Minaur's joy turns to pain in sad development around Katie Boulter at Wimbledon

The Aussie tennis star won his match but watched on as his girlfriend suffered a brutal loss.

Alex de Minaur's ecstasy turned to agony in a matter of hours at Wimbledon on Thursday after he progressed through to the third round, but watched on as girlfriend Katie Boulter was eliminated. The Aussie tennis star overcame tricky Spanish player Jaume Munar, winning 6-2 6-2 7-5 to ease into the third round.

He then made a mad dash to watch girlfriend Boulter in action against fellow Brit Harriet Dart, but had to console her after she lost 6-4 1-6 6-7 (10-8) in the second round. Tennis fans had been hoping de Minaur and Boulter could make a deep run at Wimbledon together - but it wasn't to be.

Alex de Minaur and girlfriend Katie Boulter at Wimbledon.
Alex de Minaur won his match before rushing over to watch girlfriend Katie Boulter at Wimbledon. Image: Getty/Twitter

Speaking in her post-match press conference, Boulter revealed the words of encouragement that de Minaur gave her after the crushing loss. “One match doesn’t define my career. That’s the first thing he said to me when I got off the court," Boulter revealed. "He knows what he’s talking about. It’s not his first rodeo. He’s been through it all before, and I’m lucky to have that support.”

Katie Boulter, pictured here after going down to Harriet Dart at Wimbledon.
Katie Boulter went down to Harriet Dart at Wimbledon. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

De Minaur had earlier opened up about the stress of supporting his girlfriend as well as trying to focus on his own campaign. “That was definitely more stressful. I definitely would rather her win one and one, I’ll tell you that," he said about watching Boulter's win in the first round. "That way I could have probably relaxed, but no, it was a good day at the household, I guess."

Unfortunately for the current golden couple of tennis it won't be as happy on Thursday, with Boulter unable to live up to her billing as the top-ranked British women's player. The World No.29 led 6-2 in the third set tiebreak, but couldn't find that last step towards victory.

Dart was in tears at the back of the court when she trailed 6-2, but clawed her way back to win after two hours and 57 minutes on Court 1. “I knew it was always going to be tough,” said Dart. “We played each other a few weeks ago and it didn’t go my way. I wear my emotions on my sleeve so you see everything how I’m thinking, unfortunately. I’m so happy to go through.”

Alex de Minaur, pictured here in action against Jaume Munar at Wimbledon.
Alex de Minaur in action against Jaume Munar at Wimbledon. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Despite the loss for Boulter, there was some good news for de Minaur to celebrate. He was joined by Alexei Popyrin in the third round, but fellow Aussies Thanasi Kokkinakis, Daria Saville and Adam Walton bowed out.

Popyrin pulled off a stunning win over 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, beating the Argentine 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 in just under four hours. The win set up a third-round rematch with seven-time champion Novak Djokovic, who ended the plucky effort of British World no.277 Jacob Fearnley 6-3 6-4 5-7 7-5.

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The 24-year-old Popyrin was beaten by Djokovic in four sets in the second round of the Australian Open in January. "I had my chances in Australia, I felt comfortable out there on Rod Laver with the Aussie crowd behind me, but he's gonna be a whole different beast at Wimbledon," said Popyrin. "I'm gonna expect a full-fit Novak Djokovic, I'm gonna have to bring my A game."

De Minaur heaped praise on Popyrin, saying: "It's great. It's uplifting. It's what we've always wanted, right? I remember when I started, there was always talk about our lack of players in the top 100 playing the best tournaments in the world. It shows the rest of the world, the other nations, we're ready."

Less than 24 hours after completing an epic five-set comeback win over 17th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, Kokkinakis slipped and suffered a knee injury against French qualifier Lucas Pouille. The Aussie was forced to call it quits at 6-2 5-7 2-5.

with AAP