Katie Boulter will return to the court in two weeks after a back injury that had kept her away from the court for six months. Skipping all the action since April and dropping out from the top-250, Katie will enter the W15 event in France or Thailand at the beginning of November, hoping to find the form and get ready to chase high ranking positions again in 2020.
The Leicestershire native spent some in Spain with her coach Jeremy Bates, leaving a rough period behind and working hard to get back at 100% and start competing again. Back in May, the young Briton announced she would skip Roland Garros and the entire clay season although she still signed to play in Paris, withdrawing after the draw was made and picking up half of the first prize money which raised the controversy on social media and among some legends from the past, including Billie Jean King.
Ranked outside the top-200 in March 2018, Boulter had made significant progress in the next 13 months, winning two ITF titles and competing in the quarter-final in Nottingham in front of the home fans. Katie entered the top-100 after another WTA quarter-final in Tianjin, gathering confidence for an even better run in 2019 that hadn't been that good, failing to achieve good results in the first four months.
Defending the national colors in the Fed Cup, Katie gave her 120% in the historical run, beating Ivana Jorovic in February and earning the place in the team against Kazakhstan in the World Group II Play-Off at home in Copper Box Arena, London.
After a thrilling battle, Great Britain prevailed 3-1 to secure the place in the elite for the first time since 1993, led by Johanna Konta and Boulter who propelled their country into World Group II in 2020. Katie suffered a loss 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 severe back pain that made the loss even worse.
Despite that, she decided to leave the injury and a heartbreaking defeat behind, opting to play on Sunday as well and 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 the rest of the squad.
As it turned out, Katie had to pay a huge price for this effort, unable to play ever since and suffering a massive drop in the ranking, having to start all over again if she wants to return where she belongs, which is one of her main goals ahead of the last events of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
"I'm healthy now, which is amazing," Boulter said. "I can hit with full intensity without feeling pain; I'm in the right place and don't think there will be any troubles once I return to the court.
There are no regrets about my Fed Cup participation, what we did that weekend was a great achievement, something I will remember for the rest of my life. It was my choice to go and play that match, and I think it was just a coincidence that injury came during the Fed Cup.
The time off the court was tough, I'm a tennis player and I want to be competing on the court. Still, it will only make me stronger and a better person and player next year. The worst thing was watching others playing Wimbledon, which wasn't easy to take.
I can't wait to hit the court and play healthy again, missing traveling and all the usual stuff that surrounds a tennis player."