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Katie Boulter Wins Biggest Career Title in San Diego

Katie Boulter rallied to her second career title in San Diego. Photo credit: Lexie Wanninger/San Diego Open

Katie Boulter captured the biggest championship of her career—and wrapped a winning bow around a joyous couple’s weekend—in San Diego.

An assertive Boulter defeated Marta Kostyuk 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the San Diego Open final to collect her second career title.

It wasn’t always pretty—Boulter overcame 13 double faults and saved seven of 11 break points—but the Briton kept firing her forehand and showed strong belief in a two hour, 13-minute triumph.

World No. 49 Boulter is the lowest-ranked WTA 500 champion since 106th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova won the Berlin title in 2021.

“I really didn’t think I’d be standing here with the trophy, I really didn’t,” Boulter said clutching the surfboard awarded to the San Diego champion “That will be an absolute nightmare to get home.

“I’m just smiling. I’m very happy with this week. I really didn’t expect it. You put in all this hard work and you just don’t know when it’s going to come out. I started my year out great.”

A day after Boulter’s long-time boyfriend Alex de Minaur ddefeated Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 to successfully defend Alcapulco. De Minaur, who became the first man to defend Acapulco since David Ferrer’s three-peat in 2012, was in Boulter’s support box cheering her on through the final on Sunday night.

“To be here right now and getting wins day in and day out with people ranked higher than me, it really does feel good,” Boulter said. “I have a lot of confidence going into the next few weeks.”

The 27-year-old Boulter is the first British woman to win San Diego in 39 years since an unseeded Annabel Croft surprised Wendy Turnbull 6-0, 7-6(5) in the 1985 Virginia Slims of San Diego. 

Afterward, Boulter, who often sits in de Minaur’s support box during matches, paid tribute to her boyfriend for his support.

“He finished last night at midnight,” Boulter said. “He got in a 4:15 taxi this morning and a 6 o’clock flight to be here today, so I do appreciate it.”

World No. 34 Kostyuk, who stunned top-seeded Jessica Pegula, 7-6(4), 6-1 in the semifinals, used a four-game run to take the opening set, but could not solve Boulter’s forehand down the stretch.

Boulter slammed a diagonal forehand winner breaking at 30 for a 2-1 lead with a firm “come on!”

Athletic explosiveness is a Kostyuk asset—and she showed it during a four-game surge to take charge of the set.

Bolting a backhand down the line and landing a leaping smash helped Kostyuk break back in the fourth game.

Boulter sent her second double fault long to cede the break and a 4-2 lead to the Ukrainian.

Though the Boulter forehand was probably the biggest shot on the court, Kostyuk is the more dynamic mover and applied it with some fine all-court play. Block a volley into the corner helped Kostyuk hold for 5-2.

A bold second serve from Boulter helped her erase a set point in the eighth game.

The world No. 49 whipped a forehand down the line stopping her four-game slide to hold for 3-5.

Serving for the set, Kostyuk struggled to land first serves, double faulted then could not cope with the pace of a Boulter forehand sailing a reply as the Briton broke back to get back on serve in the ninth game.

Facing a second set point in the 10th game, Boulter targeted the Kostyuk forehand and rattled out an error to save it. With her boyfriend, ATP pro Alex de Minaur, watching from the support box, Boulter saved a third and fourth set point.

A stinging body serve helped Boulter deny a fifth set point as she battled through a 10-and-a-half minute hold to even after 10 games.

Venting toward her box at times, Kostyuk refocused and rallied from love-30 down to hold for 6-5.

On her seventh set point, Kostyuk snatched the 63-minute opener when Boulter committed her sixth double fault.

Undaunted, the big-hitting Boulter burst out to a 4-1 second set lead to level. Boulter went up 4-2 in the decider and never looked back winning her second career title.