Aussie tennis great Todd Woodbridge has suggested Katie Boulter would be wearing a much bigger engagement ring if Alex de Minaur had popped the question. Boulter rode every high and every low of de Minaur's heartbreaking loss at the Australian Open on Sunday night as she watched on from the stands at Rod Laver Arena.
The Aussie star held a two-sets-to-one lead against World No.5 Andrey Rublev, but was blown off the court by a completely different opponent in the fourth and fifth sets. Rublev bagelled de Minaur in the fifth set and went on to complete an extraordinary comeback in a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-0 victory.
STATEMENT MADE: Novak Djokovic's savage response to Alex de Minaur snub
De Minaur's girlfriend and fellow tennis player Boulter was in the Aussie star's box throughout the match, and appeared to be a nervous wreck. TV cameras showed her reaction after a number of big points, giving her plenty of screen time on Sunday night.
And with the extra screen time, eagle-eyed fans spotted the 27-year-old wearing a large ring on her ring finger. One person wrote on social media: "KATIE BOULTER AND ALEX DE MINUAR ENGAGED!!! BLING BLING RING RING! CONGRATS." Another commented: "Is Katie Boulter wearing an engagement ring?"
SHE WEARING AN ENGAGEMENT RING LOOKSIE! pic.twitter.com/lllxS91Q9Y
— 123 (@superfly9999999) January 21, 2024
Todd Woodbridge takes funny crack at Alex de Minaur
But as Woodbridge pointed out on Monday morning, the ring didn't look particularly 'engagementy'. "I went in close to have a look at the ring and I said 'you know what? You can do better than that, Alex'," Woodbridge said on Today. " An engagement ring? Surely we're looking at four or five carats, not a couple of chips."
De Minaur has earned just under $17 million throughout his career, and would likely be willing to fork out a fair chunk on a ring. Karl Stefanovic asked Woodbridge: "What you're saying is that he's cheap". Woodbridge responded: "I tell you what, my wife could give him a lesson or two on what he should be buying for Katie."
It's not uncommon for people to wear rings on their ring fingers if they aren't engaged, and a look at Boulter's Instagram account shows her wearing the ring in November. De Minaur was even asked about a possible engagement at the United Cup in January, leaving him rather flustered.
"Jeez! Putting me on the spot here," he responded when asked during a press conference. "Yeah, it's not in the cards just yet [but] not ruling it out. For the time being, I'm going to try to focus on playing tennis...and then we'll think about the off-court activities." While de Minaur's comments suggest he hasn't popped the question yet, it didn't stop fans from dreaming on Sunday night.
Is Katie Boulter wearing an engagement ring?
— Ann Braybon (@abba7474) January 21, 2024
Good for them if true.
— Marie Percival (@MariePercival4) January 21, 2024
The only thing better than some of those points in the tie-break was Katie Boulter's reaction to some of those points in the tie-break.
*right click, save to "reaction images" folder* pic.twitter.com/jYJmBKVgRf
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 21, 2024
Alex de Minaur left heartbroken after Australian Open loss
De Minaur was attempting to become just the sixth Aussie male to make the quarter-finals of the Australian Open since it moved to Melbourne Park. But he fell short once again and was left completely devastated.
The 24-year-old has never made it past the fourth round at his home grand slam, and has only made the quarter-finals at a major once in seven attempts. He was consoled by Boulter in a sweet moment in the locker room after the match, but was left wondering what could have been.
"I think what let me down was my serve," he admitted. "There lies the difference in this match. My serve was something that has been really good to me this whole Australian summer and today it kind of disappeared. It's a little bit disappointing.
"It is what it is. I mean, life goes on. I know the areas I've got to work on. Again, like I've done my whole career, I'll get better, I'll improve, and, hopefully, next time I'll be able to take it to the next level.
"It's not a match that I thought I lost physically. It was just that the racquet was taken out of my hand. He was just standing and hitting from every single part of the court at just mach 10. That's probably the most disappointing part of the whole match."
Nevertheless, de Minaur is taking plenty of positives into the 2024 season. He beat World No.1 Novak Djokovic (as well as Taylor Fritz and Alexander Zverev) at the United Cup earlier this month, and took down World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in an exhibition match at Melbourne Park.
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