Strange how often a bit of competition from other Brits results in better performances from those who have been challenged. Gabi Taylor’s explosive start to 2018 took her past Katie Boulter to a career high 173 and fourth place in the British hierarchy judged by the WTA rankings. It was followed almost immediately by Katy Dunne and Harriet Dart breaking through the 250 ranking barrier.
And now Boulter, who lost her Fed Cup place to Taylor in the recent match against Japan, has won her first $25k event in Obidos, Portugal, a performance which will leave the pair neck and neck in the rankings. Katie, seeded 2, progressed to the final with only a minor blemish – a lost opening set to the Italian, Giulia Gatto-Monticone – where she would play a familiar name – Radwanska, of Poland. Fortunately not Agnieszka, the former world No.2, but Ursula, her younger sister, who had beaten Katie Swan in the top half semi final.
Again losing the opening set 6-4, Katie convincingly concluded affairs 6-3 6-3 to take her first title at this level, so our congratulations to her. And don’t be surprised if there’s more to come from the Leicestershire player – or from the others as they strive to respond.
PS Obidos seemed a happy hunting ground for the Brits, with former grantee Sarah Beth Grey and partner Olivia Nicholls triumphing in the doubles