US Open 2023 results: Katie Boulter and Jack Draper win in New York
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US Open 2023 results: Katie Boulter and Jack Draper win in New York

Sep 02, 2023

Last updated on 1 hour ago1 hour ago.From the section Tenniscomments82

Katie Boulter and Jack Draper reached the US Open third round as they began another action-packed day for the British contingent with superb wins.

Boulter, who is Britain's top women's player, maintained confidence and composure to fight back against China's Wang Yafan in a 5-7 6-1 6-4 win.

Draper put his injury problems behind him with a statement 6-2 6-4 7-5 win over Polish 17th seed Hubert Hurkacz.

But there were defeats for Andy Murray and Jodie Burrage.

Fellow Britons Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie are also playing on day four in New York.

Former world number one Murray went out in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov, losing 6-3 6-4 6-1, while Burrage - who was in the main draw at Flushing Meadows for the first time - was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Belarusian world number two Aryna Sabalenka.

Later on Thursday, British men's number one Norrie faces Taiwanese qualifier Hsu Yu-hsiou and Evans meets Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

Reaching the US Open third round for the first time is the latest success for 27-year-old Boulter in a stellar season.

It has taken her time to rebuild confidence and regain her ranking since dropping out of the world's top 100 as a result of a back injury which derailed her career in 2019.

But she has climbed to a career-high ranking this year on the back of winning her first WTA title in Nottingham and reaching the Wimbledon third round.

Now she has matched her Wimbledon performance at the hard-court Grand Slam in New York, having never previously won a main-draw match there.

"I'm super happy, I'm really proud of myself. I had to dig really deep," world number 61 Boulter said.

"I had to battle and go for it at the same time. Tactically, I was trying to be very aggressive, I got a bit tight in the first set and managed to loosen up in the second.

"I found ways to win points and it made it a little bit easier for me.

Like in her opening win against France's Diane Parry, Boulter took time to find her rhythm and range against qualifier Wang.

Wang, 29, took a break from the sport last year but has returned with renewed vigour and came into the match on an 11-match winning streak.

Beating French seventh seed Caroline Garcia in the first round further demonstrated her pedigree, but the Briton quickly started to get on top in the first set.

Boulter was unable to take three set points on Wang's serve at 5-4 and paid the price as her opponent swung the opener her way.

But the Briton responded in style. Finding some bigger hitting, she broke serve three times to quickly level and finished the stronger in a tight decider.

Boulter's reward is a meeting with American world number 59 Peyton Stearns on Saturday.

With his easy power from the baseline, Draper is a hugely exciting talent but his progress has continued to be stalled by a series of injuries.

A small muscle tear in his shoulder ruled him out of Wimbledon and, after a similar problem at the recent Winston-Salem Open, feared it could stop him playing at Flushing Meadows.

But after what he described as a "mentally-challenging" year, Draper is trying to put the problem "out of his mind" in New York.

He responded with another strong performance against Hurkacz, putting plenty of returns into play and drawing errors from his opponent.

Draper broke Hurkacz's usually-reliable serve twice in the first set, doing the same in the second as it became increasingly apparent the Pole was struggling physically.

Slumped on his chair during a changeover in the third set, Hurkacz called to see the doctor and it looked as though he might have to retire.

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist gamely battled on, playing what Draper said was "some of his best tennis", and the British number five focused purely on his own side of the court to seal his progress.

Burrage backed up her run to the second round at Wimbledon this summer with another Grand Slam win against Russia's Anna Blinkova two days ago.

The British number two was rewarded with a match on Louis Armstrong Stadium but causing a shock against second seed Sabalenka was always likely to be tough.

The 24-year-old only conceded four break points to the Australian Open champion, but her opponent converted three of them to ease into the third round.

Sabalenka will face France's Clara Burel in the third round after she beat 25th seed and Czech 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-2.

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