Konta, who pulled out a couple of tournaments to focus more on her training after lacking some confidence since the start of the year, put pressure on Clijsters but failed to convert on her first two break-point chances, but made no mistake on the two other opportunities, breaking the Belgian twice in a row.
The second set was a closer affair, but the four-time Grand Slam champion found herself having to deflect break points once more early in the set before lapsing right at the end as Konta broke for the win.
Interviewed on court, Konta said: “As a young player, I never thought I’d get to play Kim Clijsters in my career. I feel truly privileged and honoured to share the court with such a champion. It’s nice to have her back.
“It was very tough. She’s an incredible ball-striker. Her ability to do things with the ball is what made her a multiple Grand Slam champion. It’s why she was able to come back and play, in her second match back after seven years, at a level like this. That’s not exactly an everyday thing, that’s for sure. I feel so honoured to have played her, and really happy with my performance.”
-Viagogo Tennis Tickets-
Search Viagogo for tennis tickets for upcoming tournaments
Next up will be Heather Watson’s conqueror, Tatjana Maria. It will be a first meeting for the pair as Konta prepares to take on another of the tour’s mothers.
Maria had to come back from Watson’s charges and could find herself having to do the same, if Konta has gained a little confidence after this performance.
Konta’s first serve percentage was pleasingly high and it is a sign that her game is fal;ling into place if she can be effectice behind her serve. Konta will be looking for plenty of free points in this regard, and probably packs a little more fire power than Watson did in this regard.
Maria comes into this just a little more consistent though than the British No. 1 but a win over a multi-Slam winner feels like a good start for the Brit.
Having already done the Mexico double in terms of title, the chance to do the double in the same year evadedWatson, as she was edged out in the decider by sometime doubles partner Maria.
To begin with, it looked to be plain sailing for Watson as she broke twice for a commanding 4-1 lead, even though Maria pegged her back for one of the breaks. There was a flurry of breaks as Maria halted Watson’s charge for the first set twice, forcing a tie-break.
Maria was the first to edge ahead in the tie-break and found herself losing a 4-1 advantage as Watson scrapped her way back. However, Maria broke twice at the end of the set to turn the tables on the British No. 2.
Watson, who at times struggled with some tightness in her arm had to fight hard to hold on to her serve at the start of the second set, breaking and then consolidating for a 3-0 lead. It was enough to keep Maria at bay for Watson to level the set.
She broke once more at the start of the decider and again built up a comfortable 4-1 lead, but Maria kept her patience and worked her way back into contention with two breaks to nullify the lead.
The German took her chance at the end of the set to break for a hard-fought win.
We may receive compensation for products purchased via affiliate links on this website
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.