Burrage satisfied with serve to battle past Rodionova at Ilkley

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Jodie Burrage of Great Britain plays a forehand  in her Ladies' Singles First Round match against Lauren Davis of The United States during Day One of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Jodie Burrage of Great Britain plays a forehand in her Ladies' Singles First Round match against Lauren Davis of The United States during Day One of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Kingston star Jodie Burrage was thrilled her serve was firing as she battled past in-form Arina Rodionova in straight sets at the LTA’s Ilkley Trophy.

Burrage, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme - the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 - beat the Australian 6-3 7-5 to reach the second round in West Yorkshire.

Rodionova was a finalist at the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy two weeks ago and the Brit was pleased to not only overcome an experienced opponent, but also play well despite not feeling her best.

“It was a bit of a weird match but obviously I played a good match,” commented Burrage.

“The vibe was a little weird. I was quite quiet, she was quite quiet - which isn’t normal for both of us. I haven’t been feeling great so I haven’t had that much energy, and that’s why I was a bit quiet.

“I’m really happy to get through that one in two as well, saving my energy. It was a really good match, I served really well which really helped me get through the tight moments.

“I knew that she did well at Surbiton, so I knew it was going to be a tough match. She’s done well on the grass before as well so I knew I had to play well to beat her today and serve well - which is exactly what I did, and took my chances when I got them, especially in the second.”

The 23-year-old herself did well at Surbiton, reaching the biggest semi-final of her career at the event in south west London.

And, having backed that up with a first WTA Tour level win at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham last week, she believes she is finding her feet on grass ahead of Wimbledon.

Burrage said: “Surbiton was obviously a really good start to the grass for me. I obviously wasn’t that confident going into it so after that first match, playing well and getting back on the grass, it’s probably my favourite surface.

“I love playing on it, and the British fans really helps. Surbiton was a really good platform for me to play Nottingham, I got another win at Nottingham, and just to come here a lot more confident in myself.

“I feel like I can play at this level and feel like I can compete with anyone at this tournament and over the next few weeks.”

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

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