Great Britain beaten by USA at United Cup despite big win for Katie Boulter

Katie Boulter United Cup
Katie Boulter in action at the United Cup for Great Britain

Great Britain were beaten 2-1 by the United States at the United Cup despite Katie Boulter sealing the biggest win of her career against world No 5 Jessica Pegula in Perth.

The second edition of the mixed international team competition is a slimmed-down version, with ties comprising two singles matches and one doubles rubber.

British No 1, 51 places below Pegula in the world rankings, defeated the American 5-7 6-4 6-4 in the first match on Sunday, but defeat for Cameron Norrie, and then for Boulter and Neal Skupski in the mixed doubles, saw the defending champions prevail.

Pegula looked on course to open the Americans’ title defence with victory, taking six straight games to go a set and 3-0 up.

But Boulter hit back to record her first win over a top-five opponent at the seventh attempt. Her previous best was beating then-world No 7 Karolina Pliskova at Eastbourne and Wimbledon in 2022.

The 27-year-old said: “I felt like I played some really good stuff. I get a lot of confidence from it, I’ve done the work during pre-season and I was very happy with it. I feel like a different player than I was a year ago. I wanted to get some wins by rankings.”

Norrie lost to Taylor Fritz in the second singles match to send the best-of-three tie to the deciding doubles.

Fritz triumphed 7-6 (5) 6-4, serving 14 aces to only three by the Briton, who landed just 54 per cent of his first serves.

Boulter and Skupski then got off to a solid start when they faced Pegula and Fritz in the mixed doubles, but the American pair emerged 1-6 7-6 (4) 10-7 victors.

Victory for Britain would have secured their place in the quarter-finals, but all three teams in Group C still stand a chance of progressing ahead of the final pool match between the US and hosts Australia on Monday.

Even if the United States defeat Australia – a result which would see them top the group – Great Britain could still progress as one of the best second-placed teams depending on other results.

Great Britain overcame Australia 2-1 in the opening tie in Group C on Friday, with Norrie beating Alex De Minaur in three sets and Boulter downing Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets, before the hosts prevailed in the mixed doubles rubber.

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