Katie Boulter has clinched her first career's WTA title after defeating Jodie Burrage in Sunday's final of WTA 250 Rothesay Open in Nottingham. Boulter has won 6-3 6-3 in the all-British clash between two players with a big stake. It was the first ever appearance in the final of tournament on WTA level for both the players. Besides that, the spot of the UK's number was also under the line there, as Boulter have strengthened her position siginficantly, just after becoming the best ranked Brit one week ago.
Perfect week for the Brits
It was a delightful week for the home fans, as the Brits were playing stunningly during the whole week in Nottingham. British players have won 13 out of 15 possible matches, excluding the clashes between themselves happened throughout the whole event. 4 out of 7 Brits moved past the opening round and no one home player have faced a defeat from the overseas player, starting from second round. The semifinals line-up was filled with 3 of them, and today it happened the first time since 1977, that the title of WTA level event was settled between the two Brits.
Cakewalk to the maiden title
Katie Boulter has seemingly took the wind in her wings after becoming the UK number at the start of this week. Boulter stormed through the draw which delivered her 4 matches against the fellowcountries on the road to the first career's WTA trophy. The quarterfinal against Harriet Dart was quite a spicy one and brought some controversies. Boulter was on the front foot in both sets, but needed to close the match properly after wasting a chance to serve for the match while being 5-4 up on serve in second set. She made it done, winning 6-3 7-5 eventually and was really happy after the final point, showing the gesture of pointing the finger into head while looking into her team box. This has irritated Dart, who had some complaints to address into her opponent during a really cold and electric handshake just after the match.
Moving away from this little drama, Boulter was really untouchable by all the opponents on her road to the maiden WTA final of her career. She won all the matches in straight sets and sealed the victory in a style, winning the final match against Burrage in really convincing way. Boulter has quickly built a double break advantage in the opening set and despite wasting the first opportunity to serve for the set, it got done in second attempt with a score 6-3. Boulter followed the blow after start of second set and gained an early break in second game, which occured to be a decisive one. Burrage had one chance to come back level, but did not convert the only one produced breakpoint chance in 5th game.
It's worth to note, that Boulter had a really formidable draw on paper, not facing any player placed at least in the top 130 of the WTA rankings on her whole road to the title. Despite this, it's needed to appreciate, that the Brit has won all the matches in convicing style and took the pressure in the decisive stages of the tournament really well, once being a pre-match favorite related to odds in every round played in Nottingham.
Burrage surprises everyone
Jodie Burrage made a herroic effort to reach out her first ever WTA final. Opposite to her final's opponent, the odds were against her in all of the 4 matches on the road to the title clash and in Sunday's final as well. Burrage has need to overcome some really notable names on the road. She started her camapaign from a thrilling match against Tereza Martincova, ended up in decisive set's tiebreak. It was a really unusual performance, as looking on the stats, the Czech has created and converted more breakpoints, won more single points and games, while Burrage has commited 102 unforced errors in this erratic match from both sides.
Burrage has capitalized on this overperformed win and made an upset on tournament's 3rd seed Magda Linette in second round. Another Polish player has waited for her in the quarters and the Brit held her nerves well in another tight battle, winning 6-2 3-6 7-5 over Magdalena Frech. Alize Cornet was supposed to be a really tough opponent in the semis, as the French has approached the match against Burrage with 9 wins out of her 12 appearances on grass. Despite this, Burrage made another surprise and moved into the final with a score 7-5. The pre-match odds for Burrage in this tournament were looking like 2.10 vs Martincova, 2.73 vs Linette, 2.17 vs Frech and 2.80 vs Cornet, so she managed to perform an upset in every match this week till the final.
The great show up of British players in Nottingham is reflected well in the rankings. Katie Boulter gains a massive boost of 49 places, moving up to her career's best 77th position. Jodie Burrage lifts up into 108th place and gains 31 spots. Burrage could become the UK number one in case of the possible win against Boulter in the final and enter the top 100 for the first time in her career. Both the finalists can count on getting the wild card into Wimbledon's main draw. The home players and those who do well in the preeceding UK's grass tournaments have usually a privilege to get awarded with the main draw appearance.