KATIE Boulter built on her doubles win with Katie Swan on Tuesday by beating local favourite Samantha Murray 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach round two in the singles of the Aegon Manchester Trophy.
The 20-year-old made a blistering start, recording six aces in the first set as 29-year-old Murray had no answers to Boulter’s menacing questions.
But with the result appearing in no doubt, the momentum shifted to Stockport’s Murray after she began to dominate the baseline rallies.
A crucial break to go 4-1 up left Boulter animated to her support in the stands and questions began to surface about the temperament of the Leicester-born player.
With a set apiece, the contest hung in the balance.
Holding her serve and breaking with three break points in the second game, Boulter had found the rhythm she effortlessly showed in the first and Murray’s frustrations were palpable.
Shouting like a young Sharapova after each point, it was clear how important each point was to Boulter and after a flurry of breaks between the two players, a 90mph backhand down the line put her 5-2 and victory was firmly in sight.
As fans began to take their seats ahead of Naomi Broady’s singles match that was to follow Boulter-Murray, the two players held their serves and Boulter deservedly progressed to book a second round match with Serbian Aleksandra Krunic.
The tournament number seven seed overcame Australian Marina Erakovic 5-7 6-3 6-2 on court one.
Speaking to Quays News after the win, Boulter said: “She played some really good tennis in the second set so I had to find something in the third. She broke me back straight after I broke her in the third set and it was pretty difficult but I found a way and I served some good balls.
“I’ve been working a lot on my serve and it’s definitely coming to fruition so I am pretty happy about that. I’ve had one of my best years actually. I’ve made a couple of finals, had a couple of good tournaments and won a tournament so I can’t really complain about that. I am playing some good stuff.”
“We played a really good doubles together yesterday. Katie [Swan] and I haven’t played together, so that was our first time and I think we can do really well in this tournament.
Broady breezes past Raina
Northern favourite Naomi Broady put her disappointing doubles defeat out of her mind on Wednesday as she convincingly overcame a stubborn Ankita Raina 6-3 6-4 to set up a fascinating second round match with doubles partner Maria Sanchez.
Questions around Broady’s backhand stroke were raised in game three as a number of unforced errors allowed 24-year-old Raina to break and seize the advantage.
But with the crowd firmly behind the player who trains regularly at The Northern club, Broady rallied back and responded instantly with a break of her own; she had tasted a first-round exit on Tuesday, she clearly wasn’t prepared to fall again in the singles.
Broady began to find her range and the aces followed as another break on Raina visibly dented the Indian’s on-court confidence.
As the sun tried to peak through the clouds in Didsbury, there would be no rain on Broady’s parade as she continued to overpower her opponent with a ferocious forehand time after time.
Winning 86.8 per cent of her first serve points, the second set never looked in doubt as Stockport-born Broady now turns her attentions to doubles partner Maria Sanchez after she overcame Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh 6-3 6-4.
Taylor marches on
Gabriella Taylor put WTA rankings to one side as she comfortably beat Dutchwoman Lesley Kerkhove 6-4 6-3.
The world number 307 began slowly against the world number 192 but worked her way back from a break down to take control and thereafter, she never looked back.
Tougher tests lie ahead for the Briton as she now prepares for a round two match with tournament number two seed Maryna Zanevska from Belgium.