I can laugh now: Boulter forgets the first-to-ten rule when winning tiebreaker
Katie Boulter claimed one of the best victories of her career in the first round of the Australian Open over experienced Russian Ekaterina Makarova – twice.
A change in the rules for this tournament means that matches that reach 6-6 in the decisive set will be finished with a tie-break of 10 to 10 points instead of the standard first-to-seven points.
Although the referee remembered players and fans when the score reached 6-6 in the third set, Boulter was so focused that she did not pay attention and broke out loud when she reached 7-4.
She walked to the net to make her mistake, but reacted impressively to win 6-0 4-6 7-6 (10/6) after two hours and 24 minutes in the oppressive heat of Melbourne.
The 22-year-old from Leicestershire said: "I was in the moment and I forgot that it was the first to 10 but I'm glad I could dig deep and eventually get through.
"I finally got the victory, I was probably really destroyed if I had not done it, I can laugh at it now, at least I know the rule, so it will definitely not happen again."
Boulter lost the next two runs, but then won three in a row to become the first British player until the second round.
She said, "I think it's actually very heavy, because you've just been released and you think you won the race, to get back to work and find a way, I thought I did very well and I am pretty proud of myself that I dug deeply. "
This was a match that showed how far Boulter has come in the past year, climbed 100 points in the rankings and started to profile themselves as a real threat to higher ranked opponents.
The dream of Harriet Dart against Maria Sharapova turned into a nightmare (Aaron Favila / AP)
Makarova is a twofold grand slam semi-finalist, including four years ago, and can win 13 victories in top 10 players on the throws, but Boulter crashed 53 winners past her and her mental strength was just as impressive as her photo & # 39; s.
Boulter, however, would have to cause a huge upset to continue, with Aryna Sabalenka, the eleventh seed head, who has been tipped to challenge the next title for the title.
It was not such a happy start to the tournament for Heather Watson and Harriet Dart, who got the dreaded double bagel in a 6-0 6-0 loss to youth idol Maria Sharapova at Rod Laver Arena.
Dart's under-powered serve was heavily bombarded by the Russian, the champion here 11 years ago, and the young British player was left in tears afterwards.
The 22-year-old, who qualified three games for the first time in one fell swoop, said: "It would always be a difficult match, especially in such a big field, she has a lot more experience than me, but I came through the qualification, so that's something to be positive about. "
Sharapova was typically a matter of fact when asked if she felt for Dart and said, "There's no time for that, I'm sorry to have to say."
The unwanted record of the first player from the tournament actually fell to Watson, whose disappointing form continued with a 6-1 6-2 loss against 31st Petra Martic.
The 26-year-old got stuck in the tennis shootouts and admitted that she was so tense at the court that she felt dizzy and tired and had to call the doctor.
Watson said, "I have not been to myself on the pitch lately, I have to change something, I will not go on."
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