Katie Boulter needed a moment to catch her breath. The top-ranked Brit has enjoyed a lightning start to her 2024 season. She tallied her first Top 5 win in her first match of the year, a gritty three-set upset of Jessica Pegula at the United Cup. Since then, she hit a new career-high at No.27 last month after winning her second career title in San Diego. 

But that's not why Boulter is out of breath as she sat down to join the WTA Insider Podcast during the Miami Open. She had just rushed over after spending some time with the rescue dogs that were onsite in the player's area. It was a nice reward after a job well done after an opening-round win.

Boulter joined the podcast to discuss the groundwork she laid for her 2024 season, which included hiring Andy Murray's fitness trainer, Matt Little. After years of struggling with injuries and just fighting to maintain her base fitness, Boulter found herself in a position to actually focus on tennis-specific training to take her game to a new level. 

"I think it's made a massive difference to my game," Boulter said on the Wta Insider Podcast. "I can see it day in, day out. I see it in my strength out the corners. I see it in so many small little things that are ultimately helping me win these matches."

Listen to the full conversation on the newest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast below:

The 27-year-old from Leicester also takes fans into the National Tennis Center. Discussing the pros and cons of being supported by a federation like the LTA throughout her career, Boulter said the biggest benefit came from being around elite players from a young age. 

"Speaking from a young junior myself who was there when I was 13, I managed to see all the different players," Boulter said. "We had a couple of foreign players coming in and out. Like Ivanovic at the time, I would sit there and watch her practice and I think I learned a lot from that. 

"I think having everyone under one roof does help those people learn and see what it takes to be at the top of the game."

As she prepares for the upcoming clay season, Boulter revealed that she actually used the Covid shutdown in 2020 to hone her skills on clay. 

"I chose to go outside and practice on the clay instead of being indoors,' Boulter said, "and I think that mentally gave me a lot of help, and physically really helped me as well. 

"So that's why I'm looking forward to it. I have played some really good stuff. Back in the days when Johanna Konta was playing, I practiced quite a bit with her out there and absolutely loved it. So looking forward to it."

Boulter admitted she used to avoid much of the clay season for fear of injury, but now that her fitness levels are as high as ever, she's excited to attack the surface with gusto.

"I think it's something fresh, something exciting for me," Boulter said. "Most players would have played on the dirt and enjoyed it and probably got quite a few points to defend, and I'm going to come out there and swing. So naturally for me, I don't have anything to to lose. 

"I really am looking forward to it. I think it's very physical and I'm going to show the physical gains that I've really put in the work for."