Katie Boulter hopes hard work will pay off this year after opening Wimbledon win

Katie Boulter believes she is built for the big stage after reaching the second round of Wimbledon.

Boulter, 25, was once the big British hope for the future, but injury has hampered her in recent years and she has not been able to play consistently.

The comeback from her latest fitness issues is going well after impressive runs at Birmingham and Eastbourne, where she beat Karolina Pliskova, and she followed that up with a comfortable 7-5 6-3 win over Frenchwoman Clara Burel at SW19.

She has full confidence that if she can stay fit she belongs at the highest level.

“I really do. I feel like I’ve shown in some of the matches recently some of the stuff that I’m capable of,” she said. “It’s just doing it day in, day out. For me, that is the toughest challenge.

“Of course, I’ve got so much to work on in my game. I really feel like I can push on. But I do feel like I can compete with a lot of the best players in the world.

“Getting my first top-10 win last week showed me that and it proved to me I’m there and thereabouts, I’ve just got to stay fit.

“I really hope that I can push on and stay injury-free. That’s going to be my ultimate goal. I’ve said it year in, year out. I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into keeping myself on the court. I’m hoping this year it’s going to pay off.”

Boulter’s early evening victory on Court 18 saw her become the ninth Briton to qualify for the second round – the most since 1997.

And she is loving the “magic” that is happening within the ranks of home players.

“I’m absolutely loving it. I feel like everyone’s pushing themselves, almost just spurring each other on with the little bit of magic that’s going on in British tennis right now,” she said.

“I feel like I’m catching a little bit of it and I hope that I can push other people with that.

“It’s really nice to be a part of it. I know how hard they work behind the scenes.

“Everyone’s doing great, and hopefully we can keep that going. We’re in a really, really good place. I hope that, yeah, many more wins will come off the back of that.”