Katie Boulter knocked out in Nature Valley Classic first round

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Katie Boulter has lost in the opening round of the Nature Valley Classic to world number 18 Naomi Osaka.

Boulter reached her first professional quarter-final in Nottingham last week before falling to world number 22 Ashleigh Barty, but her stay in Birmingham is over early after a 6-1 6-2 loss.

The 21-year-old has faced her two toughest tests of her career in successive matches but it took just 54 minutes for Osaka to beat the world number 139.

Boulter was broken twice on the way to a one-set lead and Osaka raced into a 5-1 lead in the second set. Boulter held when serving to stay in the match but Osaka held to confirm her place in the second round.

The Japanese number one will play Dalila Jakupovic or Elise Mertens in the next round.

Earlier in the day, Britain’s Katy Dunne lost to France’s Oceane Dodin 2-6 4-6.

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