Katie Boulter in the round of 16 at the 2023 Rothesay Open, Nottingham, UK
Katie Boulter in the round of 16 at the 2023 Rothesay Open, Nottingham, UK | (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Tennis | Australian Open 2024 | British No. 1 Katie Boulter edges into second round, where she faces 12th seed Zheng Qinwen

By Ros Satar

  • Katie Boulter def. Yuan Yue 7-5 7-6(1)
  • H2H: First Meeting
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Katie Boulter is bidding to reach the third round but she has a tough task against the 12th seed Zheng Qinwen.

 

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Katie Boulter def. Yuan Yue 7-5 7-6(1)

After starting the year with two very strong wins at the United Cup, and coming through qualifying in Adelaide, Katie Boulter put her match sharpness to good use, to edge a tight affair with Yuan Yue.

After trading breaks early in the first set, Boulter got the upper hand at the end of the set to break, before serving out for the first set.

The second set was a far tighter affair, with Yuan staying toe-to-toe with Boulter, and when she was broken, she responded by breaking straight back, as Boulter squandered two match points.

Hanging on for a tie-break, Boulter raced into a 5-0 lead, and although Yuan got a mini-break back, she had left herself too much of a mountain to climb.

 

Katie Boulter v Zheng Qinwen [12] | H2H & Match Fundamentals

Katie Boulter v Zheng Qinwen [12] H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$180,000
Second on 1573 Arena, not before 1pm (2am GMT) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime

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Boulter faces the fast-rising Zheng Qinwen who reached the quart-finals of the US Open last year.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

Embed from Getty Images

H2H: Katie Boulter (WR 57) Zheng Qinwen (WR 15)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2019) R2 (2022, 2023)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 39.7 35.0
Return Points Won % 46.3 43.6
Break Point Conversion % 48.9 46.5
Break Points Saved % 56.2 61.5
Overall Service Points Won % 56.6 60.5

It might come as a little bit of a surprise to see Boulter lead the way over Zheng in hard court stats from last year but when it has counted, Zheng has edged in break points saved and overall service points won.

 

 

Playing Styles & Prediction

Zheng has been one of the rising stars on the WTA tour, and will present a very stern test for the British No. 1. Not that the 12th seed had things all her own way, having to come from a set down in her opener to book her spot in the second round.

Both play aggressive tennis, and Zheng enjoys taking the ball early in order to be able to dictate control. Boulter has worked hard on being able to add more elements to her game – more variety will be key to mix things up.

Boulter might fancy her chances, but she cannot afford to sit back and will have to be ready to meet like with like, and bring extra,

Prediction: Zheng in three sets.

 

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