Ranked outside the top-170 a year ago, the British youngster Katie Boulter has made significant progress in the last 12 months, winning two ITF titles and playing in the quarter-final in Nottingham in front of the home fans.
Katie entered the top-100 in October after another WTA quarter-final in Tianjin. The start of 2019 wasn't that good for the Leicester native who struggled to make an impression on the Tour in the first four months. On the other hand, Katie gave her 120% in historical Fed Cup run, beating Ivana Jorovic in February and representing her country against Kazakhstan in the World Group II Play-Off at home in Copper Box Arena, London.
After a thrilling tie, Great Britain prevailed 3-1 to secure the place in the elite for the first time in 26 years, led by Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter who propelled their country into the World Group II in 2020. Katie lost to Yulia Putintseva on an opening day after two hours and 31 minutes, wasting three match points and leaving the court devastated and broken, also with a severe back pain that made her loss even worse.
Despite that, the youngster opted to play on Sunday as well, battling past Zarina Diyas 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 13 minutes to wrap up an overall win for Great Britain and start a massive celebration with her teammates.
As it turned out, Katie had to pay a huge price for this effort, unable to heal the back pain so far and withdrawing from Roland Garros and the upcoming clay events. Also, it is not sure Katie will be able to recover before the grass swing and the third Grand Slam of the season at home in Wimbledon.