WTA

Katie Boulter fulfils childhood ambition with ‘special’ victory at Nottingham

By Sports Desk June 18, 2023

Katie Boulter reflected on a “special” moment as she won her first WTA Tour title at her home tournament in Nottingham.

Boulter beat Jodie Burrage 6-3 6-3 in the first all-British final at this level since 1977 to cement her position as British number one and surge up to a career-high 77 in the rankings.

The 26-year-old has travelled from her Leicestershire home to the Nottingham tennis centre since she was four years old, so to win here makes it extra special.

“I actually found some photos of me at the beginning of the week where I was training here as a ‘tiny topper’ and I looked so happy and like I was having the time of my life,” she said.

“I tried to remind myself before the final that that little girl still loves playing tennis and just enjoys every single moment she is out on court. I am very proud of myself to be in that position, whatever happened.

“I have so many special feelings, I am staying at home, mum’s cooking makes all the difference. It does feel very special because it is my home tournament.

“I dreamed of this moment, to win this tournament, as a little girl when I was four years old.

“Having come here as a fan and now as a player and somehow finding a way to win it means more than everything to me.”

Victory completed a British double as Andy Murray won the men’s Challenger Tour event.

Despite defeat, it was also a breakout week for Burrage in reaching her first final, and with three Britons making the last four, it was a strong response to criticism for the lack of British women in the French Open singles last month.

Indeed, it is their best showing in a tournament since Virginia Wade and Sue Barker were at the top of the women’s game in the 1970s.

And Boulter, who said she will celebrate with a meal out at the pub, hopes this can be just the beginning for her.

“I’m at a career high and really happy but not content and have a long way to go,” she said. “My aim is not to be top 100, it’s to be 50, 40, 30 and ever since I broke through the first time I believed I had the game to become that player and that will always be my main focus.

“Hopefully I can find some consistency and make this week in, week out. My challenge is to find consistency and I’m proud to have brought that every week.

“I played lights-out today and went for the title, wanted that trophy, and told myself I had to back myself to win it.

“I will be sleeping with my trophy tonight and it’s nice to have some reward that I can look back on. Next week will be about resetting and I will be ready for Birmingham – that’s my job.”

Burrage has had some long matches this week and after a recent injury said she was “hanging by a thread” physically, but she is also taking the positives.

“A bit gutted today, a tough, tough match, Boults played absolutely incredibly so credit to her, for me this has been such a positive week,” she said.

“I have beaten some really good players, proved some things to myself, so I will only take the positives.

“I will take positives from this and confidence from it and hopefully play some good tennis in the coming months.”

Related items

  • Boris Becker ‘working hard with the authorities’ to return to Wimbledon in 2025 Boris Becker ‘working hard with the authorities’ to return to Wimbledon in 2025

    Boris Becker says he is “working hard with the authorities” to return to the UK and Wimbledon in 2025.

    The three-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion was deported from the UK in December 2022 after serving eight months of a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for hiding £2.5m of assets and loans in a bankruptcy fraud case.

    Becker cannot return to the UK until October 2024 at the earliest following his deportation, but the 56-year-old German plans to return to the tournament he says is “in my DNA” as soon as possible.

    “Wimbledon has been my favourite tournament as a player, coach and commentator,” Becker said at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid.

    “It’s unique, you can’t compare it.

    “I lived in Wimbledon a long time so I’m working hard with the authorities to have all the applications ready to be back for next year. We’re working on 2025.

    “It’s a part of my life. It’s in my DNA, you can’t deny that.”

    Asked if he would be back in the Wimbledon commentary box, Becker replied: “I hope so.”

    Becker has not been involved in tennis since stepping down as Holger Rune’s head coach at the start of February.

    The pair spent less than four months together, but in that time the 20-year-old qualified for the ATP finals in Italy.

    ::The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards take place on Monday evening in Madrid. To find out more, and follow the ceremony, visit www.laureus.com

  • Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza announces retirement Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza announces retirement

    Former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza has announced her retirement from tennis.

    The 30-year-old Spaniard won the French Open in 2016 before lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court the following summer but she had not played a competitive match since January 2023.

    At a press conference where she was announced as a Laureus Ambassador, Muguruza said: “If 25 years ago, when I started hitting my first tennis balls, someone had told me that I would become a professional tennis player, that I would fulfil my dream of winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon, that I would become number one in the world and win the WTA Finals, I would have thought this person was crazy.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Women’s Tennis Association (@wta)

    “Tennis has given me a lot in this first part of my life. It has been a fantastic journey in which I have experienced unique situations. I have travelled all over the world and experienced many different cultures.

    “I am tremendously grateful to all the people who have helped and accompanied me throughout this chapter, because without them I would not have been able to get here.

    “I have grown and matured in a very different way than what can be considered normal, and now I am ready to start a new chapter in my life, which will surely be linked in some way to tennis and sports.

    “I hope that my collaboration with Laureus Sport for Good is the beginning of many more projects in which I can dedicate myself and help young people through sport.”

    Muguruza turned professional in 2012 and reached her first grand slam final three years later at Wimbledon, where she was beaten by Serena Williams.

    But the big-hitting Spaniard took revenge in 2016 when she stunned Williams in the final at Roland Garros, and a year later she beat Venus Williams to add the Wimbledon trophy to her collection.

    She climbed to the top of the rankings in September 2017, where she stayed for four weeks, but consistency was not Muguruza’s strong point and she slipped down the standings before a resurgence in 2020.

    Muguruza reached her fourth grand slam final at the Australian Open, losing to American Sofia Kenin, and she returned to the world’s top three at the end of 2021 after winning the WTA Finals for the first time.

    But the next season saw her plummet back down the rankings and her retirement comes as no surprise given her long hiatus from the sport.

  • Emma Raducanu’s run at Stuttgart Open ended by world number one Iga Swiatek Emma Raducanu’s run at Stuttgart Open ended by world number one Iga Swiatek

    Emma Raducanu’s progress in the Stuttgart Open was halted in straight sets by world number one Iga Swiatek.

    The Polish four-time grand slam champion, in her 100th week on top of the ATP world rankings, prevailed 7-6 (2) 6-3 to set up a semi-final showdown with Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

    It was, however, an encouraging quarter-final performance from Raducanu, who has slipped to 303 in the world rankings after a torrid 2023.

    Raducanu came in to the contest on a high after winning four matches in a row for the first time since her US Open title in 2021 and raised confidence levels were reflected in the opening exchanges.

    Several booming returns from the 21-year-old Briton turned a 0-40 deficit into an immediate break of serve, but Swiatek levelled after edging a second game that featured seven deuces.

    That see-saw battle set the tone for a marathon 70-minute opening set which produced plenty of high-quality ground strokes from both sides of the net.

    The match went with serve from that point, with Raducanu superbly holding her nerve at 5-4 and 6-5 down to force the first set to a tie-break.

    Swiatek completely dominated the tie-break though, winning the first four points before closing it out 7-2.

    Raducanu was quickly in trouble again in the second set, falling 2-0 behind and covered in clay after losing her footing on the baseline.

    She continued to fight and fended off break points in her next two service games to stay in the match.

    But Swiatek kept up the pressure to finally end Raducanu’s resistance to move in to the last four.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.