Sunday, April 11, 2021

Katie Boulter starts Progress Tour Women’s Championships with win

Katie Boulter starts Progress Tour Women's Championships with win

Boulter lost to fifth seed Elina Svitolina at January’s Australian Open, her first Grand Slam event in 12 months
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Roehampton Dates: 14-18 July
Coverage: Watch live TV coverage on the BBC Sport website & app from 11:00 BST

Katie Boulter beat fellow Briton Alice Gillan 6-1 6-4 on the opening day of the Progress Tour Women’s Championships at Roehampton’s National Tennis Centre.

The 23-year-old, who has dropped to 374th in the world after an injury kept her off the tour, will play another two matches in the round-robin stage.

“It was tough conditions but I found a way to win and that is what counts,” she told BBC Sport.

Earlier, Katie Swan retired from her match against Alicia Barnett.

The British number six, who had won the first set, was visibly upset when she was forced off the court with a right hip injury with the score at 6-4 1-4.

At 254 in the world, Swan is the highest ranked of the players in the tournament after Heather Watson and Harriet Dart withdrew with ankle and groin injuries respectively. However, Boulter has a protected ranking of 85 following her injury lay-off which she can use to enter tour events and is the favourite to win this domestic tournament.

The event – in which players call their own lines and collect balls under coronavirus restrictions – consists of two four-player pools before a semi-final knock-out stage.

Aside from the Premier singles that features Boulter and Swan, there is also a doubles competition and a Division 1 singles event.

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