Misc Tennis

Billie Jean King Cup: Katie Boulter victory puts Great Britain ahead in play-off

Great Britain's Katie Boulter celebrates winning a point against Sweden’s Kajsa Rinaldo Persson

Katie Boulter is 58th in the world rankings – 314 places higher than Rinaldo Persson

Katie Boulter gave Great Britain a 2-1 lead in their Billie Jean King Cup play-off against Sweden with a hard-fought win over Kajsa Rinaldo Persson.

The Swede, ranked 372nd in the world, handed Jodie Burrage a surprise defeat on her debut on Saturday.

However, British number one Boulter avoided the same fate on Sunday with a tricky 6-1 7-6 (7-5) victory.

Boulter’s performance means Britain can win the play-off if they claim victory in the next singles rubber.

Burrage had been due to play against Caijsa Hennemann in that match but captain Anne Keothavong has swapped the British number two out for Harriet Dart.

If the tie has not been won following the next singles rubber, it will go to a deciding doubles match with the winner progressing to the qualifying round for the 2024 Finals.

The loser will drop to the lower European/African zone – a group Great Britain know well, having spent 26 years there before sealing promotion in 2019.

Despite missing two break points in Rinaldo Persson’s first service game, Boulter broke at the second opportunity for a 3-1 lead.

Rinaldo Persson put the 27-year-old under pressure in the next game but Boulter saved two break points to keep momentum on her side, before going a double break up and serving out the set.

Having exchanged breaks at the start of the second set, the Swede broke at 4-3, but she missed four set points and dropped serve while attempting to level the match.

Forcing a tie-break, Boulter held her nerve to pounce at the right moment and the partisan crowd erupted as she secured the win that put Great Britain ahead for the first time in the tie.

More to follow.

Watch on iPlayer bannerWatch on iPlayer footer

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at BBC Sport – Tennis…