Katie Boulter believes British women’s tennis is on the cusp of an exciting new era after setting up a showdown with compatriot Sonay Kartal at the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy.
The Leicester ace, who is supported by the LTA’s Pro Access Programme, beat Australian Olivia Gadecki 6-2 6-1 to become the fifth British woman to progress to the last 16 in West London.
The victory sets up a mouth-watering clash against wildcard Kartal, 21, who defeated Slovakian Viktoria Hruncakova 6-3 6-2 earlier in the day.
Isabelle Lacy, 16, also stormed to a memorable victory against third seed Madison Brengle on Tuesday and Boulter says she’s loving the trajectory the women’s game is heading in.
“We are going in the right direction and in a very good place, as you saw today,” said the 26-year-old, who is seeded eighth for the showpiece in the capital.
“I think Isabelle’s win shows everything right there, the depth in British tennis is really coming through in many different ways.
“We are all working towards something and we are all working really hard – we’re going in the right direction.
“I think I am a competitor, and I am a fighter, and I am going to go through absolutely everything and still out there grinding and enjoying myself.
“I think for me, it is super important to focus day by day, I am doing everything I can to the best of my abilities.”
Boulter reached the second round of qualifying at both the Australian and French Open earlier this year.
But it’s her record on grass that marks her out as one of the key British players to watch heading into Wimbledon, reaching the third round last summer after a pair of runs to the second round in 2018 and 2021.
Boulter added: “I was really happy with the match overall, I think I came out really strong.
“I have been playing some really good stuff in practice and I wanted to bring that onto the match court.
“It was very windy and I had to try and find a way to win at the same time as trying to play my own game.
“I felt like I competed really well, I have been pretty excited to get on the grass.
“It is home territory, and I did not get to play Surbiton last year so I am very happy to be here.
“I think for me, the biggest thing I needed was a couple of back-to-back tournaments.”
Boulter watched wildcard Lacy topple fellow Brit Alice Gillan 6-3 3-6 6-2 on Monday before then stunning American ace Brengle, 33, on Tuesday afternoon.
The East Midlands star is a massive fan of the teenage talent and said: “I think she is a really lovely girl.
“She seems very sweet and very focused on what she is doing.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website