Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta races through first round
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Jul 06, 2017,
Jul 06, 2017, 0:04
Konta and Croatian youngster Donna Vekic played for more than three hours in the draining sun.
"... I lost against her at the French Open so I was looking forward to playing her again..." I think I made it maybe a little tougher for her to get into the match.
Firstly, she kept up the form she showed in Eastbourne, where she reached the semi-finals before withdrawing injured. Her opponent in the final that day was Konta, who had looked on course to win easily after taking the first set 6-2 but then fell away. But it also took Konta to her first third round at Wimbledon.
Indeed, Vekic-who beat Konta recently at the Nottingham Open-was full of confidence in the second stanza, seeing it out 6-4 to set up a nervy decider on Centre Court.
Azarenka, back in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the Australian Open a year ago, will next face local favorite Heather Watson, who defeated No. 18 seed Anastasija Sevastova Latvia 6-0, 6-4. It is exactly 40 years since the last British woman won at Wimbledon: Virginia Wade.
She had a tendency to freeze under pressure in the early part of her career but her run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open previous year showed she is capable of going deep into the draw of a Grand Slam.
"It was the second time I have ever made muffins in my life", Konta said. It was medically the right decision to not continue playing in Eastbourne, to give my body the chance to recover.
She added: "The last few years I was struggling a little bit, not to find my game but to accept not everything was going to come as easily as when I was younger".
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Johanna Konta has only been at the top of tennis for a relatively short amount of time, after a meteoric rise from outside the world's top-150 in 2014 to become the 7th best player on the planet.
"I feel I competed well".
Thankfully her movement seemed to be OK in a match that was more remarkable for the terrible serving from her opponent Su-Wei Hsieh.
Su-Wei is ranked 113th in the world but won the ladies' doubles title at Wimbledon in 2013 and was likely to be a tricky opponent.
"Its a nice feeling not having to keep going", said the British No 1 straight after the match. Yet when she whistled her second ace past Hsieh on her third match point the ensuing applause was warm and genuine.
No one could question the players' commitment in what was an nearly gladiatorial contest; Konta's roar and Vekic's tears after the final point speaking volumes about what they had been through.
"That does not guarantee anything but I definitely have prepared the best I can to perform here".