Brilliant Boulter building crucial confidence after stunning world No.7 Pliskova in Eastbourne

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Boulter is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, the highest level of support for players aged 16-24
Boulter is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, the highest level of support for players aged 16-24

Katie Boulter believes she’s building vital momentum at the perfect time after pulling off a remarkable comeback to stun world No.7 Karolina Pliskova at the LTA’s Rothesay International at Eastbourne.

The Leicester ace, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme – the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 – battled back from behind to beat two-time Grand Slam finalist Pliskova 1-6 6-4 6-4 in the last 32 on Tuesday.

The result marked Boulter’s maiden triumph against a top ten player and the world No.127 says she’s growing in confidence as she plots a run deep on the Sussex south coast.

Boulter, 25, said: “It was a tremendous match and I’m just so happy.

“Over time, you have a lot more believe as you go along.

“I played her one time before a few years ago – it was a really close match and I wasn’t quite

there yet - so today I just wanted to go out there and stick with her as much as I possibly could.

“I’m proud. It means so much to me coming through that.

“In the first set, I had quite a few opportunities and just couldn’t take them – I was a little bit disappointed I couldn’t close them out.

“I felt like as I stayed in the match more in the second set – I made it harder for her to hold serves, I had a lot more chances. I made sure I got the break and it went better from there on in.

“I felt like I was maintaining a lot of pressure in the second set. I wanted to put the ball on the court and make her play.

“I’ve been working so hard on myself physically – it’s starting to pay off. I’ve more work to do, but I’m getting there, building and that’s all I can ask for.”

Boulter came into this week’s competition of the back of last 16 and quarter-final exits at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham and Rothesay Classic Birmingham.

She toppled Tereza Martincová in straight sets on Sunday before going behind against Pliskova, who was a finalist at Wimbledon last year and the 2016 US Open, after a one-sided first-set.

But Boulter bounced back, showing admirable resilience in the second, levelling the contest up as a 6-4 triumph teed up a nerve-jangling decider.

And she kept her composure when the pressure was on to shock the fourth seed from the Czech Republic and send the Sussex crowd into raptures.

The Brit pinpointed the roar at securing match point as an incredible moment.

“To have the home support means so much,” she added. “That reaction gave me goosebumps, so thank you so much for that.”

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

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