HomeNewsNottingham Open 2023: Katie Boulter to play Jodie Burrage in first all-British...

Nottingham Open 2023: Katie Boulter to play Jodie Burrage in first all-British WTA final since 1977

Venue: Nottingham Tennis Centre Dates: 12-18 June
Coverage: Live coverage daily on the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website & app.

Katie Boulter will play Jodie Burrage in the Nottingham Open final – the first all-British WTA final since 1977.

Boulter beat fellow Briton Heather Watson 6-4 7-5 in a rain-affected first semi-final, before Burrage then defeated France’s Alize Cornet 7-5 7-5.

It will be a maiden WTA final for both players, with the position of British number one also on the line.

In the men’s competition, Andy Murray faces Portugal’s Nuno Borges in the semi-final later on Saturday.

“I was not expecting this coming into this week but I’m very, very happy with my performance,” said 24-year-old Burrage.

“Alize is not an easy opponent to put away, as it showed at the end.

“It’s going to be an amazing day on Sunday and I’m really looking forward to it – what an amazing tournament for us.”

Cornet, 33, is a former world number 11 and beat top seed and current world number eight Maria Sakkari of Greece in the last 16 on Wednesday.

The Frenchwoman led 2-0 against Burrage but the Briton recovered and then broke Cornet’s serve in the 11th game before holding her serve to take the first set.

There were six breaks of serve in the opening eight games of the second set before Burrage again gained the crucial break late on to secure the win.

Boulter and Burrage met in the final on the lower-ranked ITF Tour in Canberra, Australia, in January, with Boulter coming from a set down to gain a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory.

However, Sunday’s match will be the first all-British WTA final since Sue Barker beat Virginia Wade in San Francisco, USA on 28 February, 1977.

Boulter became British number one for the first time earlier this week, replacing the injured Emma Raducanu.

If Boulter wins on Sunday she will stay the top-ranked British player when the rankings are released on Monday, but she will lose that position to Burrage if her fellow Briton wins the Nottingham title.

Watson, 31, has won four WTA titles in her career but none of them on grass and none of them in the United Kingdom, with her last WTA title being at the Mexican Open in February 2020.

Boulter could not take a break-point chance in the opening game of the match, but did then break Watson’s serve in the fifth game in the last point before a 90-minute rain delay.

When play resumed, Watson immediately got the first set back on serve, only for Boulter, impressing with her powerful forehand shots, to regain the advantage in the ninth game before serving out the set.

Watson led 3-0 in the second set, but Boulter fought back to win seven of the next nine games to move into the final.

“I’ve worked so hard for this and I’m just going to keep plugging away,” said 26-year-old Boulter. “Even if it’s not my time, it’s been a great week for me and I will keep working hard.

“It means so much to me, especially here. It was a really tough match and I just tried to put my heart on the line and managed to get through in the end.

“She [Watson] is an incredible player and I knew it would be a battle. I have so much time for her, she is an amazing girl.”

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