Katie Boulter: The British number one has her sights set on the world’s top 10 as she prepares for the French Open | tennis news

Katie Boulter has her sights set on the top 10 in the world and hopes her success can help inspire more female tennis coaches.

The 27-year-old from Leicestershire is enjoying the best period of her career, having jumped from outside the top 150 to 27th in the rankings in less than a year, winning WTA Tour titles in Nottingham and San Diego along the way. .

Previously, Boulter’s career had been a story of periodic ups and downs amid long periods out of the game due to injuries and struggles to get through the lower levels of the sport.

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Boulter and Alex de Minaur head to the park to talk about the early stages of their relationship and how life has changed over the last year.

She is now a clear British number one and seeded in a Grand Slam for the first time at the French Open, although she faces a tough task against former world number two Paula Badosa in the first round.

“When I was 150, I think it was actually harder to be motivated. After Nottingham last year, I really don’t think I’ve ever been more hungry to succeed,” Boulter said.

“Of course I’m happy, I’m doing well and I’m getting closer to where I want to be, but I really think I have a chance to be inside the top 10, I think my game can be there, so I fight to be satisfied with the position 27 in the world.

“It’s great to have that number next to my name and no one can take it away from me, but I want more.”

Boulter’s success in San Diego was a true statement, as she defeated five top-40 players to win a WTA 500-level event for the first time, and meant a double celebration at home after her boyfriend Alex De Minaur lifted the ATP trophy in Acapulco. week.

Encouraging signs for Boulter

What a season it has been so far for Boulter, who has climbed into the top 30 thanks to a second WTA Tour title in San Diego in March.

She is seeded at Roland Garros despite it being her first main draw appearance, an indication of both her rapid rise and her previous aversion to clay.

The 27-year-old is still much more comfortable on faster surfaces, but has shown some encouraging signs on red surfaces.

Boulter calls for more female coaches

Greater physical durability has been the foundation of Boulter’s rise, but another key factor has been her partnership with coach Biljana Veselinovic.

Female coaches remain a rarity even on the women’s circuit and one of the headlines from Boulter’s final victory in San Diego over Marta Kostyuk was that both players are coached by women.

“Having a coach is something I’ve never had before, other than my mom,” Boulter said. “It’s a very positive environment. She’s very loving, very motherly, and sometimes in difficult times, that can really help you.”

“I would love to see more of this. I even saw one of the guys working with a fitness trainer the other day and I love seeing it. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have that. It’s great for our sport. It really helps in the WTA Tour, I really believe that.”

Travel and unsociable schedules make it difficult to combine work and family life, but Boulter believes Veselinovic can be an inspiration by helping to show the way.

“During Miami, Biljana had a coach following her, which was great to see,” Boulter said.

“They’re trying to push more women into those environments, which is incredible. The more time you can spend in it, the more comfortable you’ll feel in that environment; it can probably be quite daunting.”

“I think it’s very important to have people who are role models and who can show the way. Billie has been amazing at that, she’s always been willing to help and I think that’s where she’s a real leader.”

Facing the red earth is a challenge

A new challenge for Boulter this season has been tackling clay properly. She remains much more comfortable on grass and hard courts, but she is willing to give clay a try.

“I stayed as far away as possible because of my body,” he said. “I didn’t want to add any other aspects that would change things for me.

“Probably not many people know this, but during Covid I decided to spend most of my time playing on clay. I wanted to feel comfortable on it.

“It’s something very new for me and, having been playing on tour for quite a while, there aren’t that many weeks where you haven’t been in tournaments before.

“I think my success comes from finding different ways to win instead of just using the power I have and that’s one of the most important things on clay. I really feel like I can play well on it. I have to be patient with myself.”

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Boulter reveals which five guests he would invite to a dinner party. Listen to the full episode here on the Sky Sports Tennis podcast

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