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Tennis: British number one Katie Boulter making waves on the WTA Tour

British tennis could have a new star on its hands in the shape of Katie Boulter, who claimed her first WTA Tour title at the Nottingham Open on Sunday with a victory over fellow Briton Jodie Burrage in the final.

Boulter will be a familiar name to tennis punters having been around for a number of years but the 26-year-old is now up to a career-high 77th in the world and is only just starting to realise her potential.

Katie Boulter's Grand Slam singles record

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

Australian Open

A

A

A

A

Q1

2R

1R

1R

Q1

Q2

French Open

A

A

A

A

Q1

A

A

A

A

Q2

Wimbledon

Q1

A

Q2

1R

2R

A

NH

2R

3R

 

US Open

A

A

A

Q3

Q1

A

A

1R

Q2

 

*A = Absent

Promising junior makes steady professional impact

Boulter hails from a tennis family - her mother played at county standard - and she showed immense promise as a junior, winning the Lemon Bowl in Rome as an 11-year-old and reaching the final of the prestigious Orange Bowl in the 16 and under category.

The Leicester native would soon move up to the senior circuit and quickly established herself at ITF level, winning a 10K title in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in May 2014, beating compatriot Eden Silva in the final. 

That low-level victory was a sign of what was to come for Boulter, who would win two further ITF titles, again in Sharm El Sheikh in 2016 and then in Turkey the following season before making her Wimbledon main-draw debut as a wildcard, losing out to America's Christina McHale.

Boulter would reach a career-high 198th in the WTA Tour rankings in 2017, ending the year as a member of the world's top 200 before pushing on further in 2018.

In April 2018, Boulter enjoyed more ITF success, claiming a 25K event in Obidos, Portugal before picking up the valuable Fukuoka title in Japan. 

She would continue to show grass court promise, reaching the final of the Southsea Trophy at the beginning of July, finding only former top 20 player Kirsten Flipkens too strong on that occasion.

A second Wimbledon main draw appearance brought with it a first SW19 main draw win as Boulter defeated Veronica Cepede Royg in three sets before suffering defeat against Naomi Osaka.

Boulter's progress continued in the autumn of 2018 as she reached the quarter-finals of the Tianjin Open, beating Maria Sakkari and future French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova to claim a top 100 debut.

Injury issues and return to prominence at Wimbledon

A solid start to the 2019 season brought with it a debut Australian Open main draw triumph over Ekaterina Makarova and soon a career-high ranking of 82, but a serious back injury would put a halt to Boulter's rise up the rankings.

After playing in the Fed Cup in April, the Briton would not be seen on court until November, returning in Thailand ranked outside the top 350 and spending the rest of the year back on the low-grade ITF circuit.

The Brit would start to bounce back in 2021, beating Anna Kalinskaya and Coco Gauff in the Gippsland Trophy to begin her season, and a run to the Nottingham quarter-finals hinted at what was to come.

Boulter would sign off the season ranked inside the top 150 and consolidated that position with a solid 2022 campaign which featured another ITF title on indoor hard in Grenoble, France, before a memorable grass season featuring wins over Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova, who she beat twice including as part of a run to the third round at Wimbledon.

Home hope hunting more wins at the All England Club

WhatWimbledon 2023 - Women's singles
WhereAll England Club, London, England
WhenMonday 3rd July - Saturday 15th July, 2023
How to watchBet365 Sports Live Streaming, BBC & Eurosport
OddsIga Swiatek 4/1, Aryna Sabalenka 4/1, Elena Rybakina 4/1, Ons Jabeur 10/1, Coco Gauff 14/1, Karolina Muchova 14/1

Boulter's most recent ITF victory came in Canberra at the beginning of the current season where she defeated fellow Brits Heather Watson and Burrage to climb back into the world's top 120.

A quiet spring campaign was followed by a run to the final of an 80K ITF event in Japan, and then a 60K event the following week where she was forced to withdraw from the final with illness.

A solid return to her beloved grass saw the Briton reach the semi-finals in Surbiton - and become British number one for the first time in her career - before a dream Nottingham run where she saw off Emily Appleton, Daria Snigur, Harriet Dart, Watson and Burrage.

Now at her best-ever ranking, Boulter's attention turns to Birmingham this week and then to Wimbledon, which begins on Monday 3rd July. The 26-year-old will have plenty of home support and she has an ideal game for grass court tennis.

Standing at 5ft 11in, Boulter's big serve and powerful forehand are perfect for the surface and she'll hope the draw is kind as she looks for a deep run at the All England Club, where she is 150/1 to win the title.

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