While there are four British men in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, there isn't a single woman in that elite company in the WTA Rankings. One of them used to be Emma Raducanu, who made it even to the Top 10 a few months after her 2021 US Open triumph.
But over the past few months, the Brit struggled with injuries and her level wasn't as good as she probably wanted to be. It all cumulated in a decision to undergo three surgeries, which will keep her away from the WTA Tour for quite some time.
As a direct consequence, Raducanu fell out of the Top 100 and she also didn't participate at the 2023 Roland Garros. The tournament marked an infamous milestone for British tennis as for the first time since 2009, there was no British woman in the main draw of the tournament.
Maybe the better days are right around the corner for British tennis. With Raducanu sidelined, despite reportedly trying to make a return already in June at a Chinese exhibition event, other players are starting to step up.
World No. 125 Katie Boulter is one of those players as she signed up for a lower-tier event in Surbiton to prepare early for the grass-court season. By beating Olivia Gadecki, Sonay Kartal, and Viktorija Golubic, she made it to the semifinals of the event.
As her closest competitor for the British No. 1 spot, Raducanu, who recently parted ways with coach Sebastian Sachs, didn't defend her last year's points from the Roland Garros, she is projected to drop down by at least 20 places.
That gave Boulter enough room to work with, making semifinals in Surbiton enough to claim the British No. 1 spot. The 26-year-old can now increase her lead over the 2021 US Open champion even further, possibly challenging her for the British No. 1 spot once she returns.