The BBC did not pick Katie Boulter as one of their main show-court selections at Wimbledon on Saturday, contributing to a decision that meant no British players in front of numerous national sporting legends inside Centre Court's Royal Box.
The choice of matches on Centre Court and Court No 1 was controversial but it is understood that the corporation, whose requests are routinely put to the Wimbledon committee, did not argue for Boulter.
It all left Boulter starting out on Court No 2 at 11am even after her emotional second-round victory on Centre Court that so captured the hearts of Wimbledon fans.
Boulter was duly demolished 6-1, 6-1 by Harmony Tan, who had beaten Serena Williams earlier in the tournament and admitted she was relieved to discover the All England Club’s scheduling.
BBC Two had begun their coverage at 11am and further compounded frustrations over Boulter’s scheduling by only joining the match once Tan had already established a first-set lead.
Tan later admitted her relief: “When you play a Brit on Centre Court, I think there are a lot of people for her. I like to play on a small court. I like to play first match also, you know, because I don't wait all the day.”
As well as broadcaster requests, Wimbledon organisers factor in the potential competitiveness of a match in their scheduling judgments and could feel vindicated by Tan’s one-sided 51-minute victory.
It was later also a surprise that Nick Kygios’s match against Stefanos Tsitsipas was on Court No 1 rather than Centre.
Boulter herself had no complaints. “You're supposed to put the best matches there are out there on Centre Court and on Court No 1,” she said. “We've got Iga [Swiatek, the world No 1] who is out there. I would never expect to be put ahead of players like that. It's a privilege to play on those courts.
“Ultimately I'm a tennis player. I really have no idea where I'm going to be scheduled. I just have to react to what I'm given. It's a privilege to play on these grounds, let alone on the biggest courts. But, yes, it's great to be back with your home crowd. I would always like to be in the biggest arena that I could possibly be in. Unfortunately that wasn't today.”