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Post Info TOPIC: Katie Boulter


Challenger qualifying

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RE: Katie Boulter


Katie is one of the 5 nominees for WTA Most Improved Player of the Year (Player who finished inside the Top 100 and/or showed significant improvement throughout the season). The other nominees are Wang Xinyu, Zhu Lin, Zheng Qinwen and Jasmine Paolini.


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Not Katie but related - AdM is into the top 10, first Aussie in 18 years nearly.

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Nice to see that Katie Boulter is now brand amabssador for Pragnell jewellry

They're a well swanky brand - the earrings she's wearing in her pic are priced at over £5k

Good on her - you might as well be brand ambassador for something that you obviously enjoy wearing

And nice of her to highlight the Leicester connection too





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Coup Droit wrote:

Nice to see that Katie Boulter is now brand amabssador for Pragnell jewellry

They're a well swanky brand - the earrings she's wearing in her pic are priced at over £5k

Good on her - you might as well be brand ambassador for something that you obviously enjoy wearing

And nice of her to highlight the Leicester connection too




 Perhaps she's trying to throw Alex a hint?wink



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dodrade wrote:
Coup Droit wrote:

Nice to see that Katie Boulter is now brand amabssador for Pragnell jewellry

They're a well swanky brand - the earrings she's wearing in her pic are priced at over £5k

Good on her - you might as well be brand ambassador for something that you obviously enjoy wearing

And nice of her to highlight the Leicester connection too




 Perhaps she's trying to throw Alex a hint?wink


 LOL

Yeah, getting him a discount ? Might nudge his elbow.....

Considerate girl biggrin



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Lambda wrote:

Katie is one of the 5 nominees for WTA Most Improved Player of the Year (Player who finished inside the Top 100 and/or showed significant improvement throughout the season). The other nominees are Wang Xinyu, Zhu Lin, Zheng Qinwen and Jasmine Paolini.


 Who won this award, BTW? 



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Coup Droit wrote:

Nice to see that Katie Boulter is now brand amabssador for Pragnell jewellry

They're a well swanky brand - the earrings she's wearing in her pic are priced at over £5k

Good on her - you might as well be brand ambassador for something that you obviously enjoy wearing

And nice of her to highlight the Leicester connection too




 Sounds like a motorway service station! 



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JonH comes home wrote:
Lambda wrote:

Katie is one of the 5 nominees for WTA Most Improved Player of the Year (Player who finished inside the Top 100 and/or showed significant improvement throughout the season). The other nominees are Wang Xinyu, Zhu Lin, Zheng Qinwen and Jasmine Paolini.


 Who won this award, BTW? 


 Buried in the WTA news articles way back in December

Player of the Year: Iga Swiatek
Doubles Team of the Year: Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens
Most Improved Player of the Year: Zheng Qinwen
Newcomer of the Year: Mirra Andreeva
Comeback Player of the Year: Elina Svitolina 
Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Ons Jabeur
Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award: Ons Jabeur
Jerry Diamond ACES Award: Jessica Pegula
Coach of the Year: Tomasz Wiktorowski



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the addict wrote:
JonH comes home wrote:
Lambda wrote:

Katie is one of the 5 nominees for WTA Most Improved Player of the Year (Player who finished inside the Top 100 and/or showed significant improvement throughout the season). The other nominees are Wang Xinyu, Zhu Lin, Zheng Qinwen and Jasmine Paolini.


 Who won this award, BTW? 


 Buried in the WTA news articles way back in December

Player of the Year: Iga Swiatek
Doubles Team of the Year: Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens
Most Improved Player of the Year: Zheng Qinwen
Newcomer of the Year: Mirra Andreeva
Comeback Player of the Year: Elina Svitolina 
Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Ons Jabeur
Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award: Ons Jabeur
Jerry Diamond ACES Award: Jessica Pegula
Coach of the Year: Tomasz Wiktorowski


 Close but no cigar - or not £5 pair of earrings! 



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Hall of fame

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Katie will have a new career high of 48 in next weeks rankings update.



-- Edited by seagull on Friday 2nd of February 2024 01:45:31 PM

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Great progress.

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Rich2310



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Great insight from Tennis Abstract on the change in Katies game

You can be forgiven if you didn't have Katie Boulter on your radar going into the 2024 season. Her career-best ranking in the top 60 was a bit misleading, stemming largely from a debut title on the grass at Nottingham, where she picked up the championship without facing a single top-130 player. Nothing she can do about that, of course, but when it came to things she could control, the results were not always so encouraging. She wrapped up 2023, at 27 years of age, with a career total of just 25 hard-court victories.
Since then, it's been a whole new Katie. She opened her campaign with an upset of 5th-ranked Jessica Pegula at the United Cup, and counting qualifying, she has won at least one match at six straight events. To solidify her new status, she won the title in San Diego last week, knocking out four seeded players in the process. Nothing cheap here: All five of her opponents were ranked in the top 36, and the weakest among them--Lesia Tsurenko--had won each of their three previous meetings.
After years in the ITF wilderness, relying on British grass-season wild cards for tour-level appearances, Boulter has earned a place in the WTA top 30. Thanks to the giant-killing in Southern California, her Elo rating backs it up, placing her 28th on tour, 26th on hard courts. The Brit has always had a first serve and forehand that made it possible to dream big. It has just been a matter of harnessing the big weapons and filling out her game with complementary parts that wouldn't leave her exposed.
The results from San Diego suggest that she has finally done so. Commentators like to talk about the importance of playing "within" oneself, waiting for opportunities instead of swinging for winners when none are on offer. Boulter hasn't always done that, and she has the unforced error totals to prove it. She found a better balance against last week's barrage of top-40 foes, playing a bit more conservatively and cutting down mistakes without sacrificing too many winners. Now, she's on everyone's radar.
Katie bolt the door
Boulter ascended through the ranks with what might best be described as low-percentage tennis. In her 100+ matches on tour, she has landed just 57% of her first serves, racking up more double faults than aces. 13% of her groundstrokes are unforced errors, well above tour average. Her typical return point lasts just barely three strokes.
In twelve matches logged by the Match Charting Project before last week's run in San Diego, a mixed bag ranging from ITFs in 2017 to her final-round victory over Jodie Burrage in Nottingham last year, her Rally Aggression Score worked out to 84, putting her in the same range as free swingers such as Caroline Garcia and Camila Giorgi. Against Burrage, her Rally Aggression Score was 267, a remarkable figure for a stat that I initially scaled so that it would max out around 100. Just about every possible shot--plus a few impossible ones--was a winner or unforced error. The average point in that match lasted just 2.9 shots.
It's possible to win with numbers like these--just ask Aryna Sabalenka, Petra Kvitova, or Jelena Ostapenko. But the margins are slim. It's particularly tough to thread the needle while making as few first serves as Boulter does. Surprisingly, she struggled on that front in San Diego, making just 54% of her first deliveries for the week, including a mere 51% against Emma Navarro in the semi-final. When only one-quarter of total points begin with your best shot, you can't risk missing so much with the rest of your arsenal.
The Brit's most effective step forward, especially against Kostyuk in Sunday's final, was to keep herself in more return points. She has traditionally swung big on return, ending 11% of second-serve points with a return winner or forced error, and even finishing 6% of first-serve points that way. She didn't sustain those numbers in the final, but the tradeoff was worth it. In those previous 12 charted matches, she put just 60% of first-serve returns in play, compared to a tour average closer to 75%. Facing Navarro, she kept the point alive on 65% of first serve returns; against Kostyuk, she put the ball back in play 79% of the time.
The result, more or less by definition, was longer return points. While the Burrage match was extreme, it is not uncommon for Boulter to average in the neighborhood of three strokes per point on return--still in Ostapenko territory. The San Diego semi was a wholly different animal, with her average return point lasting 4.5 shots. In the final, it was 4.1 shots. Such a radical shift would be a bad sign for many big hitters: Ostapenko and her ilk end points early because that's the way they want to play. Yet Boulter thrived on her newfound patience.
The 27-year-old won 47% of her return points in San Diego, five percentage points better than her tour-level average and about the same as a typical performance from Pegula or Coco Gauff. On Sunday against Kostyuk, Boulter played 81 return points and won 40 of them.
Winners, slightly delayed
Even though she did not smack as many return winners as usual over the weekend, Boulter still won plenty of points from the baseline. She just took fewer risks in the process. Excluding aces and double faults, here's a top-level comparison of the frequency with which she hit winners (plus forced errors) and unforced errors in her last two matches, compared with her previous charted matches and WTA average:
Match(es) W+FE UFE
vs Kostyuk 14% 9%
vs Navarro 19% 8%
Previous 16% 13%
WTA Average 12% 10%
The Navarro match was an unalloyed triumph, as you might expect from the 6-3, 6-1 scoreline. But even the Kostyuk numbers point to a major step forward. It's not easy to cut down unforced errors from one side of tour average to the other, especially against someone like the Ukrainian, who feeds opponents an ever-shifting mix of speeds and depths. In the past, the Brit might have lost her rhythm and gone on an error spree. Instead, she was even steadier. On 28 key return points--game point, deuce, or break point--Boulter committed just one unforced error.
Facing women without the weapons to quickly end points themselves, Boulter discovered that a winner on the fourth or fifth shot of the point is just as effective, and less risky, than a big swing on the second or third shot. In her previous charted matches, she won about 49% of points that lasted four to six shots. Against Kostyuk, she won 76%, dictating play the way she has always preferred to do, just one or two shots later.
Presumably, it won't always be quite this easy. Boulter won't keep her unforced error rate in single digits forevermore; more aggressive opponents will tempt her into playing her old game. (Though the Brit did straight-set Donna Vekic in the quarters.) Still, she appears to have discovered new capabilities, seven years after her first appearance at Wimbledon. This year, she'll likely return to the All-England Club as a seeded player, with all the expectations and pressure that entails. A decade into her pro tennis career, Boulter has earned herself a lot more attention.


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Apart from Emma Navarro ranked at 20,Katie at 28 is the next highest ranked player based on 1st April 2024 rankings yet to reach the 4th round of a Grand Slam singles. 



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JonH comes home wrote:

Great insight from Tennis Abstract on the change in Katies game

You can be forgiven if you didn't have Katie Boulter on your radar going into the 2024 season. Her career-best ranking in the top 60 was a bit misleading, stemming largely from a debut title on the grass at Nottingham, where she picked up the championship without facing a single top-130 player. Nothing she can do about that, of course, but when it came to things she could control, the results were not always so encouraging. She wrapped up 2023, at 27 years of age, with a career total of just 25 hard-court victories.
Since then, it's been a whole new Katie. She opened her campaign with an upset of 5th-ranked Jessica Pegula at the United Cup, and counting qualifying, she has won at least one match at six straight events. To solidify her new status, she won the title in San Diego last week, knocking out four seeded players in the process. Nothing cheap here: All five of her opponents were ranked in the top 36, and the weakest among them--Lesia Tsurenko--had won each of their three previous meetings.
After years in the ITF wilderness, relying on British grass-season wild cards for tour-level appearances, Boulter has earned a place in the WTA top 30. Thanks to the giant-killing in Southern California, her Elo rating backs it up, placing her 28th on tour, 26th on hard courts. The Brit has always had a first serve and forehand that made it possible to dream big. It has just been a matter of harnessing the big weapons and filling out her game with complementary parts that wouldn't leave her exposed.
The results from San Diego suggest that she has finally done so. Commentators like to talk about the importance of playing "within" oneself, waiting for opportunities instead of swinging for winners when none are on offer. Boulter hasn't always done that, and she has the unforced error totals to prove it. She found a better balance against last week's barrage of top-40 foes, playing a bit more conservatively and cutting down mistakes without sacrificing too many winners. Now, she's on everyone's radar.
Katie bolt the door
Boulter ascended through the ranks with what might best be described as low-percentage tennis. In her 100+ matches on tour, she has landed just 57% of her first serves, racking up more double faults than aces. 13% of her groundstrokes are unforced errors, well above tour average. Her typical return point lasts just barely three strokes.
In twelve matches logged by the Match Charting Project before last week's run in San Diego, a mixed bag ranging from ITFs in 2017 to her final-round victory over Jodie Burrage in Nottingham last year, her Rally Aggression Score worked out to 84, putting her in the same range as free swingers such as Caroline Garcia and Camila Giorgi. Against Burrage, her Rally Aggression Score was 267, a remarkable figure for a stat that I initially scaled so that it would max out around 100. Just about every possible shot--plus a few impossible ones--was a winner or unforced error. The average point in that match lasted just 2.9 shots.
It's possible to win with numbers like these--just ask Aryna Sabalenka, Petra Kvitova, or Jelena Ostapenko. But the margins are slim. It's particularly tough to thread the needle while making as few first serves as Boulter does. Surprisingly, she struggled on that front in San Diego, making just 54% of her first deliveries for the week, including a mere 51% against Emma Navarro in the semi-final. When only one-quarter of total points begin with your best shot, you can't risk missing so much with the rest of your arsenal.
The Brit's most effective step forward, especially against Kostyuk in Sunday's final, was to keep herself in more return points. She has traditionally swung big on return, ending 11% of second-serve points with a return winner or forced error, and even finishing 6% of first-serve points that way. She didn't sustain those numbers in the final, but the tradeoff was worth it. In those previous 12 charted matches, she put just 60% of first-serve returns in play, compared to a tour average closer to 75%. Facing Navarro, she kept the point alive on 65% of first serve returns; against Kostyuk, she put the ball back in play 79% of the time.
The result, more or less by definition, was longer return points. While the Burrage match was extreme, it is not uncommon for Boulter to average in the neighborhood of three strokes per point on return--still in Ostapenko territory. The San Diego semi was a wholly different animal, with her average return point lasting 4.5 shots. In the final, it was 4.1 shots. Such a radical shift would be a bad sign for many big hitters: Ostapenko and her ilk end points early because that's the way they want to play. Yet Boulter thrived on her newfound patience.
The 27-year-old won 47% of her return points in San Diego, five percentage points better than her tour-level average and about the same as a typical performance from Pegula or Coco Gauff. On Sunday against Kostyuk, Boulter played 81 return points and won 40 of them.
Winners, slightly delayed
Even though she did not smack as many return winners as usual over the weekend, Boulter still won plenty of points from the baseline. She just took fewer risks in the process. Excluding aces and double faults, here's a top-level comparison of the frequency with which she hit winners (plus forced errors) and unforced errors in her last two matches, compared with her previous charted matches and WTA average:
Match(es) W+FE UFE
vs Kostyuk 14% 9%
vs Navarro 19% 8%
Previous 16% 13%
WTA Average 12% 10%
The Navarro match was an unalloyed triumph, as you might expect from the 6-3, 6-1 scoreline. But even the Kostyuk numbers point to a major step forward. It's not easy to cut down unforced errors from one side of tour average to the other, especially against someone like the Ukrainian, who feeds opponents an ever-shifting mix of speeds and depths. In the past, the Brit might have lost her rhythm and gone on an error spree. Instead, she was even steadier. On 28 key return points--game point, deuce, or break point--Boulter committed just one unforced error.
Facing women without the weapons to quickly end points themselves, Boulter discovered that a winner on the fourth or fifth shot of the point is just as effective, and less risky, than a big swing on the second or third shot. In her previous charted matches, she won about 49% of points that lasted four to six shots. Against Kostyuk, she won 76%, dictating play the way she has always preferred to do, just one or two shots later.
Presumably, it won't always be quite this easy. Boulter won't keep her unforced error rate in single digits forevermore; more aggressive opponents will tempt her into playing her old game. (Though the Brit did straight-set Donna Vekic in the quarters.) Still, she appears to have discovered new capabilities, seven years after her first appearance at Wimbledon. This year, she'll likely return to the All-England Club as a seeded player, with all the expectations and pressure that entails. A decade into her pro tennis career, Boulter has earned herself a lot more attention.


 I actually feel the biggest change in her game is her movement. Think this has vastly improved this year 



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Challenger qualifying

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On the WTA Insider podcast Katie credits her success over the last year to recruiting Andy Murray's fitness coach. She explains she has avoided clay as having a lot of injuries she didn't want to risk injury from the stresses on the body changes of surfaces brings. She also says that she spent the lockdown period training on clay with JoKo.

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