Boulter Wins First WTA 500 Title After Superb Comeback Against Kostyuk

Boulter Wins First WTA 500 Title After Superb Comeback Against Kostyuk

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Katie Boulter defeated Marta Kostyuk in the final of the San Diego Open to claim a maiden WTA 500 title.

Kostyuk generated attention earlier this year with a run to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. She was eventually stopped by Coco Gauff, who then lost to the eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinal.

The Ukrainian had a great semifinal win against Jessica Pegula in San Diego. Incredibly, Pegula lost 12 of the last 14 games to Kostyuk, who struck winners all over the court.

Boulter's run to the final was very impressive. It included triumphs against French Open semifinalist Beatriz Haddad Maia and Donna Vekic, who beat Sabalenka just over a week ago at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The Briton also had an extra supporter in the crowd for the contest. Boulter's boyfriend Alex de Minaur was in the crowd, less than a day after his title win in Acapulco. And he witnessed a dramatic fightback from his girlfriend.

The pair exchanged breaks in the third and fourth games of the final. It quickly became evident that Kostyuk was playing more conservatively than normal, trying to nullify Boulter's attacking style with more consistency.

That style drew many errors from Boulter initially, and Kostyuk won three consecutive games to lead 5-2. However, Boulter than saved a set point on her serve, before breaking to leave the score at 5-4.

A long 10th game followed, with Boulter managing to save four more set points to hold serve. But Kostyuk steadied herself in the next game, and errors from the Briton in her next service game meant Kostyuk claimed the opening set 7-5.

Some may have feared Boulter could struggle to recover mentally, but the opposite happened. She began to make far less unforced errors, with her clean ball-striking causing the Australian Open quarterfinalist many problems.

Kostyuk also did not help her cause with several double faults. She was broken three times in the second set, while Boulter was only broken once to win the set 6-2, and take the final to a deciding set.

For the third consecutive set, Boulter was the player who broke first. Her fearless hitting only got better in the third set, and despite fighting hard, Kostyuk just could not live with her opponent's power.

Another break gave Boulter a chance to serve for the championship at 5-2. She did so easily, hitting two aces during the game. Boulter claimed glory in San Diego by overcoming Kostyuk 5-7 6-2 6-2 after an amazing effort.


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