Katie Boulter revelling in new challenges ahead of the United Cup
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Katie Boulter is relishing the prospect of facing boyfriend Alex de Minaur after being selected as one of six Great Britain stars to take on Australia and the USA in the annual United Cup, which begins later this month in Australia.
Played from 29 December to 7 January, 18 countries will be in contention for the second edition of the international mixed teams event hosted in Perth and Sydney.
Great Britain’s first stop will be at the RAC Arena as they take on home side Australia for a second successive year having defeated them 3-2 in the group stages last season.
“It definitely spices things up,” joked the British No.1 as she entertained the idea of facing boyfriend De Minaur.
“The trash talk has been outrageous, I must admit. I’ve heard nothing but absolute garbage come out of Alex’s mouth, and I don’t hold back either.
“But it has been a lot of fun, and I hope we do get the chance to play each other on the mixed doubles court, maybe even in a deciding tie. That would give one of us bragging rights for a very long time.”
The United Cup begins a month-long stay Down Under for Boulter, with the Australian Open to follow from January 14-28.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Boulter as she looked ahead to the first Slam of the season.
“Most of us all had a couple of months off away from competing, so it almost feels like we’re starting afresh, starting something new.
“Australia can often be a little rowdier and everyone is excited because it’s the first week back. It tends to feel like a lifetime since you’ve caught up with everyone even though we’re only away from the Tour for a month or two.
“So, there is a nice buzz to it and it’s a great place to be on and off the court.”
Boulter will kick-start her 2024 season off the back of arguably the best year of her career to date.
Speaking on her year’s achievements, Boulter said, “It has been an awesome season. I’ve accomplished a lot of the things that I set out to accomplish, even though at times I thought I wouldn’t.
“It’s given me that belief that I belong at this level, as well as the motivation and the push that I really needed. I feel like I’ve finally got a reward for the hard work that I’ve put in over the many years.”
The pinnacle of her year came after the 27-year-old secured her first WTA title just north of her hometown at the Rothesay Open Nottingham.
Boulter’s success during the grass court season saw her jump an impressive 49 places as she broke into the top 100 for the third time, soon leading to a career best of world No.50.
“That was my biggest highlight of the year,” shared Boulter.
“A lot of players go through their whole careers ranked world No. 30, 40, 50 without winning a title, and that one meant a lot to me – especially as I was able to be at home with my family and have my grandpa watch me.
“That one will remain in the memory bank for a very long time.”
Touching on her big takeouts from this season, Boulter continued, “I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the past couple of years. I’ve had a lot of highs and a lot of lows, and I think the biggest thing is just perseverance.
“I also had some personal stuff going on off the court and I think it helped me put things into perspective.
“I just tried to remember that family is everything and being with my family is the pinnacle of my day-to-day life, and that’s my main priority and it always will be.”
The United Cup 2024Great Britain’s top stars set their sight on Perth, Australia as the United Cup prepares to kickstart the 2024 season for a second year running. Here’s everything you need to know.