What a week it was for Katie Boulter in Nottingham, as the wildcard went on to win her first WTA title at virtually her home tournament. She has been in good form at the lower levels of the tours already this year, and is making the most of a spell of thankfully being injury-free.
Zhu Lin picked up wins in Nottingham as well, and more importantly snapped a losing streak going all the way back to the Monterrey semi-final and had no main draw wins since March. That has probably been quite disappointing for the Chinese player, who actually started the year quite well before her hard court and clay season downturn.
The pair have met before with Zhu getting the upper hand in Acapulco in 2020, so it comes down to how Boulter comes back from a long and emotional week to go again.
All three Brits playing in Birmingham had a solid week, albeit with a feisty exchange between Boulter and Harriet Dart (and a considerably warmer one between Boulter and Jodie Burrage).
Dart got a lot of good matches under her belt and sailed through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals and should feel that she is coming into the tournament with confidence and form. Having had such a breakout year last year on the tour, this season has not been quite as dynamic.
For Burrage, now the British No. 2, she has also had to battle an inordinate number of injuries in her young career, but was finally rewarded with her first WTA final and is now tantalisingly outside the Top 100 and might pick up her reward of cracking the Top 100 with a solid run here.
Burrage seems to be the steadier of the two on performance, even though Dart’s stats are a lot stronger on grass this season.
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