Tuesday 23 January 2018

Briton Konta suffers shock exit at first US Open hurdle

 

Johanna Konta of Great Britain hits a forehand against Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia (not pictured) on day one of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports
Johanna Konta of Great Britain hits a forehand against Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia (not pictured) on day one of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Johanna Konta suffered a shock loss to Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic in the opening round of the US Open.

After Andy Murray's withdrawal, Britain's hopes predominantly rested on the shoulders of the world number seven.

Konta's brilliant run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon marked her out as a contender for the title in New York on her favoured hard courts and she went into the tournament as one of eight players in the race to be world number one.

But the 26-year-old never looked comfortable against 78th-ranked Krunic and lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes.

Konta insisted she felt happy with her preparation despite only winning two matches in the build-up to the tournament, having taken a short break after Wimbledon.

Krunic looked a good draw on paper but the Serbian showed how dangerous she can be here three years ago when she defeated Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova on her way to the fourth round.

She has done little of note since but is a fearless ball striker and a player who can take advantage of a big name having a bad day.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza saw off Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 6-3 to reach the second round of the US Open.

Elsewhere, Croatia's Marin Cilic started strong and hung on to win his first match since his emotional defeat in the Wimbledon final, beating American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the second round of the US Open.

Irish Independent

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