Teen Boulter on a high as she advances to Aegon Challenge second round

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pictured : Katie Boulter in action during the Aegon Nottingham Challenge. (Copyright free images)

Teenager Katie Boulter celebrated her biggest career win with a wild card into Wimbledon qualifying.

The Leicestershire wild card is the last remaining British singles hope in the Aegon Nottingham Challenge with Kyle Edmund, David Rice and Marcus Willis going out in the second round of the men's competition.

Boulter, ranked 564 in the world, cruised into the second round with victory over Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg, who is 432 places higher, 6-3 6-2.

It took the 17-year-old less than 1 hour 10 minutes to overcome the World No. 132 and set up a meeting with qualifier Ons Jabeur on Thursday after the  Tunisian beat fifth seed Claire Feuerstein in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

"Today has been pretty much perfect - I can't really say that it has been anything else," said Boulter.

"I'm extremely happy to get the wild card, so thank you to British Tennis, Wimbledon and everyone else for that.

"To top it off, I played a really good match today and beat my first top 200 player. That is my biggest win so far.

"I don't know what is going on today? Everything is just going perfectly."

Victory was also Boulter's first senior win on grass, and maiden triumph in the main draw of a $50,000 ITF event.

From the outset Britain's top junior looked at ease on court, holding her first serve before breaking Cepede Royg on the way to taking a 3-0 lead in the opening set.

The Paraguayan hit back by winning the next three games.

Boulter saved three break points to edge 4-3 ahead then broke Cepede Royg in the next game before coolly closing out the set on serve.

The Brit got off to a slow start in the second, conceding her first service games as her higher-ranked opponent went 2-0 up. But Boulter finished in devastating fashion, seizing six games in a row to seal her place in the last 16.

"My coaches have kept telling me to go for it, and keep going for it. That is exactly what I did," said Boulter.

Edmund, who had earlier received a wild card into The Championships, Wimbledon, was beaten by Australian qualifier and World No. 173 Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-3.

Despite his exit, the 19-year-old was pleased with his efforts in Nottingham having stunned top seed and World No. 103 Go Soeda in the opening round.

"I played well and I'm happy with the way I played - he just played even better," said Edmund.

"I'm happy with the level I've played at this week, my first round match and even this one. I will keep improving and working on the practice court before going to Eastbourne.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to play at Wimbledon. It's my second wild card into the men's event so hopefully I can learn from my experience and take it into this year's tournament."

Elsewhere, second seed Gilles Muller got the better of Rice in straight sets 6-3 6-4, while fellow Briton and wild card into Wimbledon qualifying Marcus Willis was overcome 7-6(3) 6-4 by seventh seed Marius Copil.

Muller, the 2011 Aegon Trophy champion in Nottingham, next takes on big-hitting Australian Sam Groth, who reached the doubles semi-finals at the French Open with Andrey Golubev.

Already World No. 108 Muller has twice triumphed over Groth this year, beating the fifth seed on the way to clinching ATP Challenger titles in South Korea and Taiwan.

Ahead of Thursday's quarter final, Muller said: "I played him and beat him twice in Asia but that counts for zero here.

"After reaching the semi-finals in Paris, and now playing well here on grass, I'm sure he will be confident."

Entry to the Aegon Nottingham Challenge is free for all spectators.

For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit  www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com



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