Jodie Burrage shines in dominant win on The Progress Tour

Jodie Burrage maintained her excellent form with a dominant 6-1 6-0 win over Alice Gillan that earns her a semi-final place at The Progress Tour Women’s Championships.

The Brit, 21, has won 12 of the 13 matches she has played since the restart and the benefit of all that match practice is clear to see in the quality of her tennis.

Throughout the encounter, Burrage served superbly and hit an array of winners on both her forehand and backhand sides. Furthermore, her control of proceedings was so absolute that she won 81% of points on her serve and 76% of all points played in the match.

Given these statistics, it is hardly surprising that the World No.293 broke Gillan five times in a row and raced to a victory that was never in doubt in just 56 minutes.

“I played a really good match,” Burrage said in her on-court interview. “I think I hit the ball a bit better than I did yesterday and made less mistakes.”

She continued, “I’ve won a lot of matches (recently), but I’m just happy to be getting through them without any injuries and playing good tennis.”

Considering that Burrage is playing to such a high standard and looks so confident on court, she may enjoy a very competitive encounter with Katie Boulter tomorrow. That clash will determine who wins the Anne Keothavong Group.

Katie Boulter eases past Arbuthnott

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Katie Boulter comfortably beat Emily Arbuthnott 6-1 6-3 to seal a place in the semi-finals of The Progress Tour Women’s Championships.

The Brit, 23, has quickly settled into a rhythm following her return to tennis. She played well yesterday during her win over Gillan, but she noticeably played even better today and all parts of her game look to be in good order.

Boulter wasted no time in putting her stamp on proceedings. She broke the younger Brit three times in the first five games as she charged into a 5-0 lead. Then she responded to dropping her own serve by breaking Arbuthnott again to wrap up the first set in just 28 minutes.

In the second set, the younger Brit raised her game and engaged Boulter in a lot more rallies. This led to a much more competitive set, and the more experienced Brit only broke Arbuthnott once this time around as she eventually won it 6-3.

“I came out pretty strong and I was really happy with the way I was playing,” Boulter said in her on-court interview. “I kind of let up in the second set, she played a bit better, and I’m just happy I closed the door and got the win.”

She continued, “I’m really, really enjoying being back out onto the court. These past couple of years I haven’t spent that much time on it, so to be back out here is pretty special and I cherish every minute of it.”

This victory for the Leicester-born Brit sets up an Anne Keothavong Group decider with Burrage tomorrow. When Boulter was asked about the match, she was clearly keen to manage expectations. She said, “She’s clearly in great form. She’s played 13 matches and I’m out here with two under my belt, but I back myself and I’m sure it will be a really, really good match regardless of what happens.”

According to the Progress Tour twitter account, Boulter later added, “I know (Burrage) really well. We’ve practiced a lot together recently, but obviously it’s always going to different on the match court. She’s playing some great ball.”

Alicia Barnett seizes crucial win over Lumsden

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Alicia Barnett battled back from a set down to secure a vital 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 win over Maia Lumsden that earns her a place in the semi-finals of The Progress Tour Women’s Championships.

Although the Brit, 26, has only won one match, she cannot be overtaken by Lumsden, who has already played both her matches in the Elena Baltacha Group, which has been reduced to three players after the withdrawal of Katie Swan.

Consequently, Barnett’s final match of the round robin stage against Freya Christie tomorrow will determine who finishes top of the group.

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