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Boulter thanks De Minaur after dash to watch San Diego win

Pa
Tuesday, Mar 05, 2024

LONDON/SAN DIEGO: British number one Katie Boulter thanked boyfriend Alex de Minaur for racing over to California to watch her win a first WTA 500 tournament after his own success at the Mexican Open.

The 27-year-old came from behind to claim the San Diego Open title with a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win over Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk and earn a second career title.

Boulter’s victory was watched by De Minaur, who defended his Mexican Open title in Acapulco on Saturday before scheduling an early-morning flight to support her on Sunday. “I want to say a small special thank you to my boyfriend,” Boulter said post-match. “He finished last night at midnight and I really want to embarrass him. He got a 4.15 taxi this morning and six o’clock flight to be here today, so I do appreciate it.” After an even start to the match, Kostyuk began to get the better of Boulter and surged into a 5-2 lead.

Boulter fought back to level at 5-5 but the sixth-seeded Ukrainian regained the momentum to wrap up the first set 7-5.

Boulter then found her groove in the second, dominating on her first serve to clinch the set 6-2 and force a deciding third set. The Briton continued her ascendancy into the third, claiming the first break point of the set en route to opening up a 3-1 advantage.

Boulter broke again in the seventh game and hit her first two aces of the match in the next to close out the victory in two hours and 13 minutes. The San Diego win is her second WTA title, adding to a maiden championship on grass in Nottingham last summer and Boulter reflected on a “special” week in California. “This week has been very, very special for so many different reasons,” she said post-match. “This one is pretty amazing, I’ve worked very hard for it, I played some incredible tennis all week.

“Today was a complete battle, with myself as well because I was a little bit nervous. But I managed to get over the line and that I’m very proud of.”

Boulter has had a flying start to the 2024 season and the victory over Kostyuk sees her break into the top 30 for the first time, now ranked 27th.