Katie Boulter through to last eight in bid for back-to-back Nottingham titles

Katie Boulter’s dream of a second successive title at her home event is firmly alive after breezing into the quarter-finals.

Victory at the Nottingham Open last year kick-started an impressive year which has seen her surge into the world’s top 30.

And she is looking good again on home turf after easing past Rebecca Marino 6-4 6-3 to book a quarter-final spot.

Boulter, from nearby Leicester, used to train at the Nottingham Tennis Centre so is revelling in being able to play her best tennis here.

“I have some of my childhood memories here so I always get that warm fuzzy feeling every time I come out here,” she said.

“Just being back where it started reminds me how far I have come and I just keep working hard every day and see what happens.

“I am out here enjoying myself on the Nottingham courts and I don’t take that for granted.

Boulter is enjoying her time on her home courts
Boulter is enjoying her time on her home courts (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It is going to take some time to be at my best, I am realistic with that, it is about getting some momentum and getting to the last weeks of the grass court season and playing my best stuff there.

“But I wouldn’t mind playing my best stuff here either. I’ll take it one match at a time and see how we go.”

Heather Watson was unable to follow her compatriot into the last eight as she lost to 2016 champion Karolina Pliskova.

Watson competed well against the sixth seed but went down 6-4 6-4.

Emma Raducanu will aim to book her quarter-final spot when she takes on Daria Snigur while Fran Jones also carries British hopes against Ashlyn Krueger.

Dan Evans endured a tough time in the men’s Challenger event, edging past last year’s Wimbledon boys’ champion Henry Searle.

Evans needed two tiebreaks to prevail, winning 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) to set up another all-British tie against Charles Broom in the quarter-final.

“He’s obviously very good,” said Evans of Searle. “I’m just happy to come through to be honest – it’s not the draw I wanted to see when I saw I was next to his name.”