HomeNewsEastbourne International: Britain's Katie Boulter beaten by Petra Martic in first round

Eastbourne International: Britain’s Katie Boulter beaten by Petra Martic in first round


Katie Boulter makes a forehand
Katie Boulter is ranked 88 in the world following her title win in Nottingham two weeks ago
Dates: 26 June – 1 July Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne
Coverage: Live daily coverage on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and app

British number one Katie Boulter suffered a first-round exit at the Eastbourne International as she lost to Croatia’s Petra Martic.

Lucky loser Martic, ranked 30th in the world, secured a 6-4 7-5 victory over Boulter in blustery conditions.

It is Boulter’s second consecutive first-round defeat after an early exit at the Birmingham Classic last week.

In the men’s draw, Liam Broady beat Jan Choinski 6-3 6-4 in an all-British encounter.

Broady needed just one break to take the first set and went an early break up in the second, before Choinski forced the set back on serve.

World number 147 Broady instantly responded with a break of his own and served out the match to set up a last-16 tie with Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

Boulter, who has received a wildcard to play at Wimbledon next week after her Nottingham Open triumph, started well against Martic but lost her serve in the fifth game with a long forehand.

Four break points came and went for the Briton in the next game and Martic, who has featured in the fourth round at Wimbledon three times, ultimately clinched the first set.

The wind made for difficult serving conditions for both players and Boulter found herself having to save two break points at 5-5 – the first with a floated drop shot and the second with a stunning forehand down the line under pressure.

Yet that good work went to waste as Boulter smacked a backhand into the net to give Martic a crucial break that allowed her to serve out the match.

“I’ve played seven matches going into the grass, I’m very happy with where I’m at,” Boulter said.

“I don’t think I’ve lost any confidence this last couple of weeks just because I lost to higher-ranked players.

“I feel like I’m playing some really good tennis. I’ve practised unbelievably well every single day this week.”

Gauff progresses but GB’s Watson loses

Following the success of Britons Harriet Dart and Jodie Burrage at Eastbourne on Monday, compatriot Heather Watson missed her chance to extend her Wimbledon preparations after losing 6-3 6-4 to Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

Watson, ranked 149th in the world, was handed a lucky loser opportunity after Birmingham semi-finalist Anastasia Potapova withdrew with a right shoulder injury.

However Giorgi, looking to bounce back from her first-round defeat by Venus Williams in Birmingham last week, was in control throughout, saving six of the seven break points she faced on her way to victory.

Earlier, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, fresh from winning the Birmingham Classic on Sunday, continued her Wimbledon build-up with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Czech player Barbora Strycova.

Ostapenko, who will face Dart in the next round, was due to play defending champion Petra Kvitova in her opener, but the Czech world number nine pulled out following her triumph at the German Open on Sunday.

Burrage will face American fifth seed Coco Gauff in her last-16 match after she comfortably beat compatriot Bernarda Pera 6-3 6-2.

Following Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina’s withdrawal from the tournament, France’s Caroline Garcia replaced her as the top seed and comfortably secured a 6-1 7-5 victory over American Madison Brengle.

Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur cruised through to the last 16 with a 6-3 6-2 win against Italy’s Jasmine Paolini.

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