WTA

Katie Boulter determined to keep ‘good vibes going’ in biggest career final

By Sports Desk March 03, 2024

Katie Boulter vowed to keep having fun on the court after beating Emma Navarro to reach her biggest career final at the San Diego Open.

The British number one, who claimed her maiden WTA Tour title on grass in Nottingham last summer, will bid for the trophy at a WTA 500 tournament for the first time thanks to a 6-3 6-1 win.

Boulter has had a flying start to the 2024 season and victory over her third top-30 opponent of the week guarantees she will rise at least 14 places in the rankings to a new career-high of 35.

She will break the top 30 if she can defeat Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the final on Sunday night – where she will be watched by boyfriend Alex De Minaur, who scheduled an early-morning flight after retaining his title in Acapulco.

Boulter said: “Today was one of those matches that everything just clicked. I came onto the court and started the first few games and I could feel the power that she had and the way she works and manoeuvres the ball.

“I had to come up with something better and play more aggressive and go for it and I think that was my chance to just trust myself and trust the work I’ve put in and it paid off.

“It’s my biggest career final so far. I’m just going to keep having fun. I’ve got such good vibes going with the team right now so nothing changes there, I’m just going to enjoy myself.”

 

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The 27-year-old from Leicester dominated on her serve against third seed Navarro, winning more than 87 per cent of first serve points and allowing the American just two break points, both of which she saved.

 

Rain stopped play early in the second set but the delay did nothing to halt Boulter’s momentum as she wrapped up victory in only 48 minutes of play.

“It was obviously very tricky with the rain delay in the middle of the match,” said Boulter, who was ranked well outside the top 100 a year ago.

“I felt like I had the momentum behind me, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself in the rain delay to stay focused and stay warm and continue that momentum and I think I came out and played some really good stuff to start with and kept that rolling and I think that was super important today.”

Kostyuk is also having one of the best weeks of her career and she stunned American top seed Jessica Pegula, winning 7-6 (4) 6-1.

It was the 21-year-old’s first win over a top-five player after she came back from 5-1 down in the first set.

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