Johanna Konta (Great Britain)
SHREWSBURY, GREAT BRITAIN: There were plenty of first round casualties for the home nation at the ITF Pro Circuit women’s $75,000 event in Nottingham on Tuesday.
Of the ten Brits to feature in the opening round of the singles main draw nine fell at the first hurdle, eight of them in straight sets! Only Johanna Konta, playing in her first tournament since her second round showing at the US Open and seeded seventh, came through leaving her the sole hope of singles glory for the home support.
Konta, who is into her second week as a WTA Top 150 ranked player, said following her first round 64 60 victory: “Credit to [Diana Marcinkevica], she played quite well. First rounds are always a little tricky, everyone’s getting the feel for the place, the courts, getting back into routine.
“Anything can happen in first rounds so I’m just happy that I was able to play better and better throughout the match and get myself more and more solid. It went well.”
Konta, the lone Brit left in the singles main draw, is looking to emulate the success of her fellow compatriots Elena Baltacha and Heather Watson, the 2009 and 2011 champions respectively, and her second round opponent will be Julie Coin from France, a former WTA Top 60 ranked player, who fought back from a set down to see off Britain’s Ana Fitzpatrick in three sets.
Elsewhere, the tournament lost its first seeded player. Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai, ranked at 15 in the WTA rankings two years ago, upset the number one seed from the Czech Republic, Kristyna Pliskova, in three sets.
“She’s a very talented player, she has a good future,” Rezai commented after the match.
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