Katie Boulter in the first round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Katie Boulter in the first round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Three Talking Points: Stefanos Tsitsipas previews Murray clash, Dimitrov and Boulter unfazed by protests

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas previews his second round clash against Andy Murray after winning a fifth set tiebreak against Dominic Thiem
  • Grigor Dimitrov and Katie Boulter were unfazed by the ‘Just Stop Oil’ protests after their matches were disrupted
  • Jodie Burrage spoke about her Centre Court experience while Anett Kontaveit is victorious in last tournament of career
LONDON, ENGLAND – Stefanos Tsitsipas previewed his upcoming clash with Andy Murray while Grigor Dimitrov and Katie Boulter remained unfazed by protesters on day three of Wimbledon.


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Tsitsipas previews Murray Clash after epic win over Thiem

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Our day three talking points start with fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek battled past Dominic Thiem in a five set epic. The match went all the way to a fifth set tiebreak before Tsitsipas won the tiebreak 10-8 to complete a four hour victory.

That win means that Tsitsipas will face Andy Murray in the second round on Thursday with the head-to-head at 1-1. Firstly speaking about the win over Thiem, Tsitsipas claimed that playing on grass is poetry and he is happy with the result.

“There is poetry on grass. I fought hard today. I won the match. I don’t think I felt this empty after a win in a very long time,” Tsitsipas admitted after the match.

“Of course, I’m happy and joyful that I overcame that obstacle and that I won. But there’s just something about winning a big match on clay, when you have to move for hours, you feel sore, you’re tired, your legs hurt, you have to slide around the court. It’s a different feeling. I feel clean. After the match I just feel my body clean. I feel obviously tired, but it’s a different kind of tired. It didn’t feel as gritty as it would have been, for example, on clay. And a much cleaner win in general, even though it was a five-setter.

“I don’t know if that makes any sense of what I’m trying to say. That’s just a feeling that I get after a long, difficult match against Dominic, who I find difficult as an opponent. But I don’t know, it just doesn’t happen very often. But I’ll still take it. You know, it’s a win. I’m hoping I can keep moving forward.”

Although Tsitsipas may not prefer grass court tennis over clay, the Greek still knows how to win tennis matches on grass and will look to keep that up throughout the tournament. Now the fifth seed will face Murray and Tsitsipas said he will look to learn from their previous meeting on grass in Stuttgart last year which the Brit won.

“He is a strong opponent, he has played on this court so many times. Grass suits his game very good. He has shown it with titles, two titles here, at Wimbledon. He has won Queen’s in the past,” Tsitsipas stated.

“He’s a strong opponent on grass. I played him once before on grass in Stuttgart. I need to up my game on this occasion. Looking forward on having to face his solid game, which will make it physical. That is something that I haven’t been exposed to a lot on grass, but I will have to put in the work and make it work this way.

“He has done great things in tennis. I’m looking forward to this match. I hope there’s plenty for me to learn. Regardless of the outcome, I feel like I really want to go out there and give it a shot and aim for being super strong and disciplined in that match because it will require lots of that.

“If I’m in there persistent and focused on my goal, I feel like anything is possible. I’m hoping to be in that kind of mindset when I’m going to be facing him tomorrow.”


Dimitrov and Boulter advance despite climate change protests

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Next up it’s a slightly different topic as Grigor Dimitrov and Katie Boulter both progressed into the second round in comfortable straight sets on Court 18. However both players had to do this while being disrupted by ‘Just Stop Oil’ protesters during their match.

The climate change protesters have disrupted multiple sporting events in the UK and continued at Wimbledon with puzzle-themed confetti being chucked onto the court. Speaking on the topic Dimitrov admitted security wasn’t an issue and described the situation as unpleasant.

“Obviously it’s not pleasant. In the end of the day there is not much you can do. I think everyone in a way did their part as quick as possible,” Dimitrov said in his press conference.

“I mean, rain was coming so it was also a little bit fortunate to come off the court and have some time to, you know, kind of like regroup a little bit and, you know, shake it off. Yeah, I thought everything was just handled good. I think, yeah, after that when we came back on the court was just all good.

“Especially players like us are very aware of whatever is happening around. I think we are never left unguarded anywhere we have to go outside the grounds. So yeah, I mean, walking to the court, you’re always surrounded by the right people. Yeah, I mean, I for one feel okay with everything on that end. And again, it just can happen, I mean, anyway if you’re in the wrong place in the wrong time.”

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Meanwhile Boulter said she had a lot of emotions at the time and thinks that it’s not the place or the time for these protests to occur.

“Yeah, there were a lot of emotions I think because I didn’t really know what to do in that situation. It’s not something I’ve been through before. Naturally my first instinct would have been to try and help get everything off the court,” Boulter said.

“At the same time I have to remind myself to focus, to keep in the moment and keep trying to keep my eye on the ball and not drop it. It’s a really key moment for us. It’s 4-2 in the tiebreak, I have to win this next point, else there’s a lot of air between us. Yeah, I think I tried to keep myself very level headed and stay as focused as I could.

“Look, it’s not my field of expertise. I don’t know enough about it. I would say that I think we all sympathise with what they’re going through completely. At the same time I don’t know if it’s the right place or time. When I think back to people who have sat here, as we just talked about, 30 hours trying to watch tennis, it’s really tough on them.

“I sympathise with all of them, every person that’s going through it. I think for me as a player, my job is to try and play tennis, and in a way put on a show. I’m going to stick to that.”



Burrage embraces Centre Court atmosphere despite defeat

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Now onto another Brit who was in action today in the form of Jodie Burrage who was thrashed by Daria Kasatkina on Centre Court. Despite the defeat it has been a great tournament for Burrage, who secured her first win at Wimbledon and will likely be a top 100 player after the tournament.

Speaking after the match Burrage admitted she was nervous but wanted to embrace the Centre Court atmosphere with a smile.

“For me, as a player, I quite like using the atmosphere and stuff. I wanted to take it in. I wanted to use it,” Burrage said in her press conference.

“I mean, I wish I could have played a little bit better. And yes, I was nervous. Like, I think everyone’s nervous when they walk out on Centre Court. But it’s something you have to go through. My next experience I feel like I’ll be more prepared.

“So for me, instead of thinking it’s not a big deal, like, I wanted to embrace it. I feel like I did. I didn’t actually feel too, like, concerned about the court and the people. My opponent played pretty well, put me under pressure. That’s what I was thinking about.

“But, yeah, I enjoyed the experience. That’s why the smile was on my face. Like I said, it’s one of my dreams to walk out on to Centre Court. I’ve done that. If I can’t enjoy it, yeah, what else can I do.”

Burrage will look to use that experience to her advantage as its likely she could have a direct acceptance into the US Open later this year.


Kontaveit talks life after tennis

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Finally, Anett Kontaveit’s career is coming to an end after back injury has forced her to retire from the sport after Wimbledon. That’s the bad news, the good news is that her career isn’t over just yet after she reached the second round of Wimbledon.

Speaking after her victory, Kontaveit detailed why she is retiring from the sport and what’s next in her career.

“I got the scans end of last year when it started hurting. That’s when I knew about it,” Kontaveit said.

“Initially I was just trying to do all sorts of different things, trying to take time off, I was also taking — then I was trying to play again and also taking time off to do exercises for months to strengthen the core and do everything I could. It just took a few matches to start feeling it again, very short matches, as well.

“It definitely is emotional, and yeah, it feels a little different. But really excited that I get to play a few more matches here hopefully, and just do my best every time I walk on the court, and that’s what I have been doing my whole career.

“Really want to do that for the one last time. Post-career, I’m studying psychology. I’m going to continue doing that. Then, yeah, we’ll see what the future brings.”

Kontaveit will face Marie Bouzkova in the second round.



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