Konta continues good form
Originally published on 03/07/17 00:00
It’s only the Brit’s second win at the All England Club and she seized control of the match at the midway point of the first set. She will play either Donna Vekic or Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the second round on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old served well and exploited her opponent’s second delivery. "I’m very happy to come through that,” said Konta. “She (Hseih) is a very tricky player on any surface and I’d obviously lost to her in the first round of the French Open in a close three set match.
“After I hit yesterday I was feeling pretty good. I’m training very hard, working very hard to perform at my best level and I’m hopefully going to be involved here for the full fortnight – but I’m definitely taking it one match at a time.”
Konta will be joined in the second round by fellow Brit, Heather Watson. The 25-year-old held her nerve to defeat Maryna Zanevska 6-1 7-6(5). There was not such a positive outcome for Naomi Broady, though, as she was beaten by Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets.
Elena Svitolina battled her way past Ashleigh Barty 7-5 7-6(8) to record an excellent first round victory.The Ukrainian’s participation at Wimbledon was in doubt due to a right foot issue but she appeared to be in good physical condition.
Afterwards, the delighted 23-year-old said: "I was ready for the match. I knew I had to produce a high level because she (Barty) was playing amazing in Birmingham and is really confident on grass. For me it’s a big win, and a big step forward on the grass.”
Barty, who reached the final of the Aegon Classic in the West Midlands, is a savvy grass-courter but she was left to rue missed chances. “I made a few too many errors today, especially off my forehand,” said the Australian. “We saw it as an opportunity, but I think anyone I drew, I was going to see it as an opportunity. Today it didn’t quite come off for me.”
The No.2 seed, Simona Halep, wasted little time booking her place in the second round. The Romanian defeated Marina Erakovic 6-4 6-1 in 75 minutes.
The French Open finalist, who hit 19 winners and committed 24 unforced errors, said after her win: “In the end, I found a good rhythm and I hope I have it now for the next round. Here on grass, every day you play, every match you play, it's a big plus for your game, and you get used to it more and more."
Laura Robson’s hopes of embarking on a deep run at her home tournament were quelled by Beatriz Haddid Maia. The big-serving Brazillian, who has been bounding up the rankings this year, defeated the Brit 6-4 6-2.
It was a sore defeat for Robson, who is still searching for her best form after an injury-hit few years. “I just didn’t feel like I played my best tennis,” admitted the 23-year-old. “It wasn’t the way I’ve been playing the last few weeks either. She [Maia] has a tricky serve, I was finding it hard to read, and it kind of gets a hold of you.”
Venus Williams was made to work hard to earn her 7-6(7) 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens. The 37-year-old American, one of just two previous winners in the women’s draw, will play Qiang Wang in the second round.
“This is my 20th Wimbledon and I never thought I would play this many,” said the five-time champion after the match. “I’m grateful to be here to play and I love the game. She [Mertens] had a lot of opportunities to take chances today and she played at such a high level. If she can maintain that level, she can win a lot of titles.”
Elsewhere on the grounds, Dominka Cibulkova defeated Andrea Petkovic 9-7 in a deciding set, Madsion Keys conceded just six games as she defeated Nao Hibino and Camila Giorgi ousted Alize Cornet 5-7 6-4 6-4. There were also wins for Françoise Abanda, Caroline Garcia, Naomi Osaka and Barbora Strycova.
In the final match of the day on Court 1, Victoria Azarenka defeated talented American, Catherine Bellis, 3-6 6-2 6-1. The Belarusian, performing at the All England Club for the first time in two years, improved as the contest progressed and she will play Elena Vesnina next.
There was also a three set victory for French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 1-6 6-3.