Katie Boulter beaten by fifth seed Elina Svitolina in opening round of Australian Open

Katie Boulter made a promising return to grand slam tennis but was beaten 6-4 7-5 by fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

Boulter had not played at a slam since reaching the second round here 12 months ago after suffering a back injury at the Fed Cup in April that ruled her out for six months.

It was a very tough draw, and Boulter struck the ball well, racking up 27 winners to Svitolina’s 17, but ultimately the Ukrainian was the more composed on the big points.

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Boulter said: “I felt like I had a chance the whole match. I knew if I could string a few points together here and there then I was in with a chance.

“I think I played some really good points but I also gave a lot away, which for me is quite disappointing because I expect better of myself. But it was a good match, I have to take the positives from it.

“I haven’t played a match like that in a very long time.”

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