Double delight for Katie Boulter as she celebrates Wimbledon wild card with ‘massive milestone’ win
Britain’s Katie Boulter pulled off the best win by ranking of her career with victory over Alison Riske in the first round of the Rothesay Classic Birmingham.
Seventh seed Riske, ranked 35, is a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist and was runner-up at the WTA Tour event in Nottingham last week but she had no answer to the clean power of Boulter.
The British No 4, who is ranked more than 100 places lower at 141, is known as a big-match performer and she showed that again at Edgbaston, winning 6-4, 6-3.
Boulter, who found out just before going on court that she has been given a Wimbledon wild card, said: “Massive milestone, definitely excited of course.
Best WIN of her career 😍
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 14, 2022
“I feel like I’ve got close to a few of the top players and never got over the line. I feel like I can do it, the game is there, and that’s what’s exciting to me.
“I feel I can go out on the court and compete with anyone out there. A few of those under my belt and really kick on and I feel like I’ll be in a good place.”
Boulter has so far been prevented from achieving her potential by injuries and illness, and a leg problem suffered in March sidelined her for nearly three months.
The Leicestershire player is determined to enjoy the chances she has, particularly at home on grass, and said: “These past few years have taught me a lot.
“I just want to go out there, smile, have fun, maybe not take it too seriously, and I think that really works for my game.
“I felt like I did that out there and I felt very comfortable, and the work that I did out there started to show. I believe it’s going to come out. Hopefully I can build on that from here.”
The 25-year-old made the perfect start with a break of the Riske serve in the opening game and survived her only moments of real pressure by saving three break points in the fourth game of the second set.
She finished the match off in style with a run of four games in a row to set up a second-round clash with France’s Caroline Garcia.
Top seed Jelena Ostapenko recovered from a dramatic collapse against Canada’s Rebecca Marino to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 having led 6-2, 5-1.
The Latvian earned a few boos from the Edgbaston crowd for her post-match comments, saying: “The biggest opponent to me was myself because I played really well until 6-2 5-1, she didn’t really do anything, she didn’t change anything, then I started to fight against myself, I started to miss some balls.
“I’m glad I won because my level is way better than her today and I showed it.”
Fourth seed Elise Mertens fell 3-6, 6-4 ,7-5 to American Caty McNally while sixth seed Sorana Cirstea beat Shelby Rogers 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 and Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska was a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Magda Linette.
Second generation ATP Pro Ben Shelton taking stock after big season
Ben Shelton is the youngest of 13 Americans in the top 100.
Novak Djokovic ‘still No 1 player in the world’ and ‘heavy favourite’ for 2023 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic will be the man to beat at the 2023 Australian Open, says Aussie legend.
Stats from Iga Swiatek’s incredible 2022 season – featuring bagels and breadsticks from the Iga Bakery
Some great statistics from Iga Swiatek’s brilliant 2022 season.
‘Regular father’ Rafael Nadal on parenthood: ‘More tired, sleeping less’
Rafael Nadal on life as a parent.
Novak Djokovic looking ‘fresh’ and could extend career by a few years after 2022 debacle, says pundit
“I feel like he’s added another year or two to his career.”
Rafael Nadal beats Casper Ruud before teaming up with Gabriela Sabatini in mixed doubles
Some off-season fun involving Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud, Gabriela Sabatinia and Gisela Dulko.
Carlos Alcaraz has the ‘potential to achieve great things’, says Rafael Nadal
“Someone very special has arrived,” says Rafael Nadal.
Tennis influencer Rachel Stuhlmann making waves with huge social media appeal
Rachel Stuhlmann’s Instagram has exploded in popularity, with her 232k followers earning her the title of the No 1 tennis influencer.
Rafael Nadal jokes Casper Ruud will have to ‘call’ Novak Djokovic if he wants to change result of epic final
If you could change one result in tennis history, what would it be?
Andy Murray confirms first event of 2023 season with Novak Djokovic also expected to play
Andy Murray’s first event for 2023 revealed.