Jodie Burrage has ‘all the feelings’ after setting up all-British Rothesay Open final

Jodie Burrage plays a shot

Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage will contest a first all-British WTA Tour final for 46 years at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham on Sunday.

Britain’s leading women have responded in style to criticism of the fact none of them were in the main draw at the French Open with the sort of week not seen since the 1970s when Virginia Wade and Sue Barker were at the top of the game.

Three home players were in the last four for the first time on the main tour since 1975, and Boulter defeated compatriot Heather Watson 6-4, 7-5 before Burrage saw off France’s Alize Cornet 7-5, 7-5.

In the 50 years of the WTA Tour, the only previous all-British finals saw Barker and Wade split victories in Paris in 1975 and San Francisco two years later.

Boulter has cemented her new British number one status this week, beating Harriet Dart in the quarter-finals on Thursday and now getting the better of Watson.

The 26-year-old, from nearby Leicestershire, went into the week ranked 126 but has guaranteed she will be back in the top 100 next week for the first time since 2019.

At that stage, Boulter looked set to push on towards the top 50, only for a stress fracture in her back to rule her out for seven months, and it has been a long road back.

“I’ve got all the feelings right now,” said Boulter. “I feel like I’ve really worked for this. It’s not something that I’ve just been given and I feel proud of myself for that because I’ve worked above and beyond for these moments.

“I haven’t had many of them and that’s why it makes this one extra special. Hopefully I’m not done yet and I’ve got one more to go. I’m hungry for more, which is pretty exciting for me.

“I’m hungry to go play Birmingham, I’m hungry for the tournaments after that. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to just win a couple of matches, I’ve got more to come.

“It’s so good to be back (in the top 100) and I really hope it’s a stepping stone to pushing back in and really giving it a shot, because I felt I didn’t get a full chance when I was ranked 80. I wanted to play a full year where I could have a swing and see what happens.”

Grass suits Boulter’s hard, flat hitting and she claimed a first set disrupted by a rain delay before fighting back from 4-1 down in the second to clinch victory over Watson, who has also had a confidence-boosting week.

There had been tension between Boulter and Dart at the net over the former’s celebration – which Boulter insisted was water under the bridge now – but here the two players shared a lengthy hug.

Boulter can set a new career-high ranking in the top 80 if she can emulate Johanna Konta and the late Elena Baltacha – after whom the trophy is named – by winning the title.

But Burrage is also having the best week of her career and impressed again with the quality of her groundstrokes in taking out the hugely experienced Cornet, who ended Iga Swiatek’s 37-match unbeaten run at Wimbledon last summer.

“I wasn’t expecting this coming into this week,” said Burrage, 24. “But I’m very, very happy with my performance today. It’s going to be an amazing day tomorrow. What an amazing tournament for both of us.”

Burrage would break the top 100 for the first time and overtake Boulter as British number one should she lift the trophy.

That would put both in a strong position to qualify for future grand slams by right, and Boulter said: “We were maybe a little bit too early to put some negative stuff out.

“It’s very easy to focus on one or two tournaments but I think, bigger picture, we’re in a great place and I’m happy to say that and stand by it.”

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