British No 1 Katie Boulter is growing in confidence and has the ability to compete with the very best at the US Open, according to Sky Sports Tennis analysts Johanna Konta and Laura Robson.
Boulter and Burrage both impressed during the grass-court season but it was the 27-year-old from Leicester who shone brightest as she became the new British No 1 and won her maiden WTA title in Nottingham.
Boulter then reached the third-round of Wimbledon before being overwhelmed by No 3 seed Elena Rybakina and her run at the National Bank Open in Montreal ended with another humbling defeat at the hands of Coco Gauff.
After the failure of the French Open, where no British women made the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2009 US Open, and the need for wild cards to remedy that at Wimbledon, Burrage has since reached her career high of 94 to guarantee her a spot in the US Open main draw, alongside world No 60 Boulter.
“I’m so happy that we’ve got two women in the main draw after everyone made such a big deal out of no women in the main draw directly at Wimbledon. Everyone needed wild cards, so it shows how quickly things can change,” said former Wimbledon junior champion, Robson.
“The fact that Katie’s now at a career high and Jodie’s just snuck in, we’ve got a couple of really great players in qualifiers as well with Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Lily Miyazaki and Heather Watson. They’ll all be looking to join Katie and Jodie in the main draw.
“Hopefully we’ll have a few more by the time the main draw starts, but I I just feel like they’re both playing some of the best tennis of their entire career – especially Katie.
“She’s winning the matches that she should be winning, which is not always easy, and it’s a lot more pressure to put in yourself when you feel like ‘oh, I’m finally at the ranking where maybe I should be’, but to actually still play your best tennis in those situations can be can be tricky.”
Boulter was forced to withdraw from Cincinnati with a minor foot injury, but Robson believes the extra time will allow her to be 100 per cent healthy for the US Open while Burrage competes at a WTA 125 event in Chicago.
“They’ve both got big games, which is the sort of tennis that really does well in New York because the court generally plays quite fast and quite a high bounce,” said Robson. “If you can play aggressive tennis, then you can just take all the time away from your opponent so I think they will be super positive going in into the first round.”
Former US Open quarter-finalist Konta thinks Boulter needs to be competing with the very best on a regular basis in order to push herself into the higher echelons of the sport.
She said: “I think time at this level will do wonders and the more opportunity she gets to play against these big players the more she will feel ‘where am I lacking? is it my consistency? do I not take enough chances? do I not step in early enough in the point?’
“She will then start thinking about what she needs to do on the practice court to try and iron out and push her own boundaries to get better.
“The biggest hurdle for her until now is staying physically healthy. She is in a position now where she is competing consistently week after week having had that reward by winning Nottingham and making the third round of Wimbledon, qualifying in Montreal and winning a round.
“All this will add to what we like to call ‘confidence’ and then from there it will also build out a lot of things and her game in general will start to get better without necessarily, specifically needing to focus on what she need to get better at.
“The more time you get to spend at this level your game naturally improves.”
When is the US Open live on Sky Sports?
The US Open returns to Sky Sports on Monday, August 28 with the promise to give fans live coverage of the Grand Slam like never before.
Sky Sports has access to all individual court feeds and will broadcast a minimum of 135 hours of competition throughout the two-week Grand Slam tournament.
Sky Sports subscribers on Sky Glass, Sky Stream, Sky Q, and the Sky Sports app will be able to watch all courts for the first time on Sky Sports.
Across Sky Sports’ linear channels and on Sky Sports digital and social channels, tennis fans can enjoy extensive coverage, including both the men’s and women’s tournaments, alongside respective doubles, mixed doubles, juniors, and wheelchair competitions.
Watch the US Open – live on Sky Sports – from Monday, August 28. Stream the US Open and more with NOW for £26 a month for 12 months