Boulter outlasts competition to defend her LTA Rothesay Open Nottingham title

Boulter beat Jodie Burrage in an all-British final in 2023 and defended her title against Karolina Pliskova.
Boulter beat Jodie Burrage in an all-British final in 2023 and defended her title against Karolina Pliskova.

By Milly McEvoy

Katie Boulter credited her head for helping her to outlast the competition and defend her title at the LTA's Rothesay Open in Nottingham with a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over Karolina Pliskova in the final.

On a marathon day, the British No.1 beat compatriot Emma Raducanu earlier in the afternoon to advance to the showpiece after their match was heavily delayed by rain, having also been announced for Team GB’s Olympic squad on Sunday morning.

It was the first time the Leicester native had gone into a tournament as the defending champion and she passed the test with flying colours.

“I put a lot of work and a lot of soul into this week and I felt like I am really reaping the rewards for all the hard work over the last few years especially,” the 27-year-old said.

“I am very happy with today, I never dreamt that it would happen again, this one is very special to me.

“Unfortunately, it is part of tennis where it is going to rain and things are going to stop play but it is completely out of our control.

Boulter was joined in Nottingham by her grandfather
Boulter was joined in Nottingham by her grandfather

“We can’t deal with that stuff, we have just got to do it the best we can and ultimately I did it the best out of everyone and that is where I give full credit to my own head because it was tough at times.

“I’ve been pretty sick the last few days and that was another challenge for me to overcome and to keep pushing myself through that.”

Rain had halted Boulter’s semi-final against Raducanu on Saturday evening and the pair resumed on Sunday with the US Open champion holding the advantage after a tie-break win in the first set.

Boulter hit back winning the second comfortably to force a decider before the two traded breaks of serve with Raducanu breaking when Boulter was serving for the match.

The world No.30 eventually saw out the match, winning 6-7(13) 6-3 6-4, and had a short turnaround before facing Pliskova, who had also completed her semi-final on Sunday.

Up against the 2016 champion, and a former world No.1, Boulter saw the first set come and go as the Czech player overturned a break, winning four consecutive games to take the lead.

Just as she did against Raducanu, Boulter quickly had the upper hand in the second set and tested her nerve by serving it out for a decider.

In the third, Boulter had a laser focus on victory, twice breaking Pliskova to seal the win and her third WTA title.

Her victory, as well as Jacob Fearnley's in the men's singles, made it back-to-back British triumphs in both the men's and women's singles for the first time in history.

She added: “I came here to try and get a couple of matches, obviously you want to start your grass court season getting into the back end of tournaments.

“I probably didn’t quite expect this one straight away but after a couple of really close battles, getting myself into the grass court season, I felt like I was playing some very good tennis out there.

“Now it is about getting myself back healthy, looking after myself and not pushing the boat out too much.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website