Katie Boulter (20/1 – Tournament Outright) says she is growing increasingly confident after beating a top-40 player for the first time as she saw off Alison Riske in the first round of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.
Briton Boulter, who is currently ranked 141st in the world, got the better of the world No.35 Riske, winning in straight sets, 6-4 6-3, to set up a second-round clash with Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia on Wednesday afternoon.
Boulter has battled back from illness and injury in recent years and will be hoping for a memorable summer after being handed a main draw wildcard for Wimbledon.
However, for now her focus is in Birmingham as she looks to continue to impress on grass and she is likely to be tested next by Garcia, the world No.74, in the second round at the Priory Club in Edgbaston. Boulter is 8/11 to beat Garcia, who is 11/10 to knock-out the Leicester-born star.
She said “I feel like I’ve got close to a few of the top players and never got over the line. 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.”
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Top seed Jelena Ostapenko also progressed in the WTA tournament, beating Canada’s Rebecca Marino 6-2 5-7 6-3, while Beatriz Haddad Maia, who recently won the Nottingham Open, caught the eye again with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 success over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams (20/1 – Wimbledon Outright) has been handed a Wimbledon singles wildcard when the 23-time Grand Slam title-winner will make her return to action after a year out.
The 40-year-old has not played since suffering an injury in the first round at SW19 last year but confirmed her wildcard entry when posting: “SW and SW19. It’s a date” on social media.
Wimbledon gets under way on Monday June 27th.
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