Katie Boulter committed to putting in the work to remain UK number one

Katie Boulter admitted it is a privilege to be British No.1 and is determined to keep putting in the work to stay there.

Boulter picked up another win on Wednesday by beating Rebecca Marino 6-4 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals of the LTA’s Rothesay Open in Nottingham.

Victory also meant her defence of the title she won in Nottingham a year ago continues, and the Leicester native revealed there is nothing quite like coming back to a venue with such good memories.

“It [being British No.1] is a privilege but it is not my sole focus,” she said. “My number one focus is to keep my attitude right and my number going in the right direction, play week in week out and work hard.

“I don’t feel like the defending champion at all right now. I come to this tournament with a lot of memories here, mainly ones I remember as a kid.

“I am here and I am just playing, I have no pressure. I don’t see any issues that could put me in a way of panicking about being in this position.

“I take it as a massive step in the right direction that I am here as defending champion and winning matches.

“I always feel the love in Nottingham, it is very close to my heart so it’s nice to be back. I have such good memories on that court, I’m not sure what it is, but it does bring back some really good vibes for me.

“A lot of my best tennis is when I feel like I have got a really good atmosphere around me. Going into that tunnel reminds me every time that I step out.

“It just reminds me every time that I have been in this position a few times and it takes me back to the good parts, the positive memories that I have.”

Boulter earned her first WTA singles title with victory at the 2023 Rothesay Open having become British No.1 for the first time the week before.

The 27-year-old arrived in Nottingham this week with the same status and beat British No.2 Harriet Dart in a three-hour marathon in the first round, and Boulter believes it is testament to the hard work she has put in as she targets a big grass season.

She said: “I tried really hard not to focus on it and I haven’t really thought about it until this week actually. This time last year was the first time I had that privilege and coming out here reminded me of how far I have come in one year.

“My main aim was to get my ranking up and I really have done that. I have tried to improve myself as a player and I feel way more comfortable in my own skin knowing I have worked hard to get my ranking up and I am here as British No.1 with a better ranking.

“Last year I had an extra grass court tournament coming into this week, for me it’s about building some momentum into the last weeks of the grass court season and playing some of my best stuff there.

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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