Konta heads to Eastbourne with momentum

By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta lost out to Karolina Pliskova after rain pushed match over two days
  • Three Top 100 wins already on the grass
  • Heads home to Eastbourne with momentum

Johanna Konta took to Court 1 in slightly better conditions than the day before, after her heavily rain disrupted second round match. She may have hoped to echo her early start against the sixth-seeded Czech after she eased past her in the first set 6-3, but at the suspension Pliskova was a break up.

Konta said: “Obviously we already had quite a difficult day yesterday, going on and off for both of us. It’s challenging always when that happens. All these things are very much out of our control, so there is no point in wasting any energy on them because you’re not going to change them. We kind of roll to the punches.

“Coming out today I knew I was a break down. She is obviously a very good sever, so I just tried to do my best and tried to put as many balls back as possible. In the end, yeah, that one break held and she served very well at the end.”

It has been a great run on the green stuff for the British No. 2, currently ranked 139 in the world, but cracked the Top 100 in July last year, and she has beaten three Top 100 players in the past few weeks, thanks to wildcards in Nottingham last week, Birmingham this week and has a wildcard into the Eastbourne main draw for next week.

“Every win gives me confidence in different ways. Obviously I don’t look at the ranking of the other players; there are no easy matches. I’m very happy with the tennis that I’m playing and the opportunities that I’ve gotten in Nottingham and here to play on the grass.

“I have been lucky enough to get some really good matches on there, and I am just looking to carry this momentum and stay healthy and looking forward to the next week the week after and the week after that.”

The extended grass court season has seen some quality action over this week, as the run up to Wimbledon continues. Konta made the main draw last year but has never made it past the first round, although the opportunities to build up grass court pay has been very positive from her point of view.

She said: “I think we are very fortunate that we’ve gotten an extra week for the grass season this year. Very happy about that.

“And as you can see with the level of players that are here, and next week and even last week, it definitely make it more interesting for players to come here before Wimbledon. So it’s a very exciting time for British tennis, and I’m very excited about it.”

With a true home crowd behind her, Konta will hope to scalp a few more good players before all eyes turn to SW19. The Aegon International starts with qualifying on 20 June.