Jodie Burrage hailed her hardened mentality after she came from a set down to progress to the second round of the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne.
British No.2 Burrage overcame US qualifier Lauren Davis 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the last 16, just a day after thinking her tournament was over after a straight sets defeat to Italian Jasmine Paolini in the final round of qualifying.
The 24-year-old was not expecting a second chance as a lucky loser but is now relishing the prospect of another deep tournament run on home soil following her charge to the final of the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham.
“I was on the way back to my parents, me and my boyfriend were going to get my dog and we were halfway when I got the email,” said Burrage.
“I was umming and ahhing about playing because of a shoulder injury, rolled my ankle last week and the body isn’t in the best shape, so I decided to carry on driving because I was trying to figure out what the smart thing to do was.
“We ended up driving home, stayed at mum’s that night and then drove back here for two hours. It wasn’t the best prep but it worked.
“I can’t remember the last time I was a lucky loser. I’ve stayed around a few times in Miami and Madrid in the 1000s. It was a first, but it worked.”
Burrage responded well after losing the first set to world No. 44 Davis and will now play either world No. 7 Coco Gauff or Bernarda Pera in the third round.
Last year’s French Open finalist Gauff would make for a particularly challenging opponent and Burrage knows she will need to be quicker out to the blocks if she is to advance.
“I really want to get going earlier in matches, so I don’t have to keep coming back from a set down,” she added.
“I keep fighting and putting myself out there. My mentality is what got me through today, the conditions were not easy and the sun went as well so it was quite cold and slow and not easy.
“I’m very happy to get through as I’ve lost a lot of those matches in the last few years as mentally I’ve not been good enough.”
Burrage does of course have home advantage and hopes she can continue to make the most of that as the season unfolds.
“I think going in with the mentality of playing at home, it’s a completely different surface to anything and other people may feel uncomfortable and not as confident on it,” she said.
“We back ourselves and there’s been so many different stories about people having runs on grass court events.
“The belief is there when it comes to grass court, so it would be great to have it all year round as there’s no reason why we can’t play on other surfaces as well.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website
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