British star Katie Boulter comes from match point down to stun Coco Gauff and set up Naomi Osaka clash in Melbourne

KATIE BOULTER came from match point down to beat Coco Gauff and continue her impressive comeback from injury.

The British star, 24, was playing her second WTA Tour-level match since February after back injury woes.

But she registered one of the standout wins of her career at the Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne – a week before the Australian Open gets underway.

Boulter, who saw off world No107 Anna Kalinskaya in round one, dropped the first set 6-3 against teenage prodigy Gauff.

The American sensation burst on to the scene at Wimbledon in 2019, reaching the fourth round – she then beat defending champion Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open a year ago.

No14 seed Gauff, 16, served for it at 5-4 in the second against Boulter and had match point – but the Brit broke back before levelling 7-5.

And the world No371 from Leicester took the decider 6-2, helped by 48th-ranked Gauff double-faulting three times in the final game.

The reward for Boulter's first back-to-back WTA wins since 2018 will be a clash with US Open champion Osaka.

The Japanese tennis icon has won their two previous meetings, both on the British grass courts in 2018.

Boulter said: "I am as strong as I have ever been physically.

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"Mentally I feel like I'm in a great place after that very difficult time."

Osaka added: "I remember playing her in Wimbledon one year and thinking she was a really good player, then I heard that she got injured and now she’s back.

"I’m looking forward to playing her. It’s really interesting to play players that are around the same age as me because I feel like we all have the same goals and stuff."

Should Osaka see off Boulter at Melbourne Park tonight, she could face another Brit, Jo Konta, in the quarter-finals.

The British No1 beat Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-3 to book a last-16 tie with Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.



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