Britain’s Katie Boulter belied her world ranking to secure a stunning victory against the American teenager Coco Gauff as the countdown to the Australian Open continues.
Boulter, ranked down at 371 after a lengthy spell out with a back injury suffered in 2019 and playing ather second WTA event in almost two years, defeated Gauff 3-6 7-5 6-2 in the second round of the Gippsland Trophy at Melbourne Park.
The 24-year-old began her season the day before with a dominant victory against 107th-ranked Anna Kalinskaya, but had to battle hard to defeat Gauff, with the No 14 seed double-faulting three times in the final game.
Fifth seed Johanna Konta defeated Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-3 in 81 minutes in the second round, with the British No 1 saving three break points on her way to victory.
The American struggled with her serve throughout and double-faulted six times before being broken for match point, while Konta got into a rhythm early as she continues her recovery from a knee problem.
Heather Watson said she was “not putting a lot of pressure on myself” before the Grampians Trophy, which begins on Wednesday in Melbourne. The world No 58 left hotel quarantine on Friday and said she was “super excited” to begin training on actual courts but was taking a considered approach to the warm-up tournament.
“It’s unusual circumstances, so it will be interesting to see how my body is tomorrow, but I’m not really putting a lot of pressure on myself for this next tournament. It’s a unique situation, so I’ve just got to play it by ear, play it day by day.”
Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the tournament to focus on the Australian Open, which will be her first WTA match in more than a year.
Dan Evans, seeded eighth in the Murray Open, will begin his campaign in Melbourne in the second round on Wednesday after he received a bye and will face Portugal’s Pedro Sousa.