Dominika Cibulkova def. Johanna Konta  6-3 6-4
In a tricky draw, Johanna Konta met her match in Dominika Cibulkova as she exited Wimbledon in just the second round. With match wins coming slowly since the start of the year, it looked as though Konta had turned a corner with a run to the final in Nottingham and picking up a few wins in Birmingham and Eastbourne.
But perhaps there was a little more fire in the belly of the Slovak, who was the unlucky No. 32 in the rankings bumped out of the seedings when the AELTC decided to seed the returning Serena Williams, who won the tournament the last time she played in 2016. Initially Cibulkova was fairly ambivalent about the decision until she considered the implications of the decision.
Cibulkova was the first to strike with a break in a competitive first set, as she closed out the first set with ease. A second early break put the pressure on the Brit, who rallied well at the end of the set to save four match points on her serve, before Cibulkova served the match out to love.
Konta said, after the match: “I think she’s very feisty in the way she plays. She brings a lot out of herself I think. With each match she plays, very, very physical, very present, in her mannerisms and the way she fights on court.
“When she’s playing well, I think she goes for her shots very much so. She looks to dictate. When she’s playing well, she plays incredibly freely. I mean, she was hitting winners from five meters behind the baseline kind of thing.
“She was obviously seeing the ball very well and feeling very good in the way she wanted to play. I found it very difficult to really get a foothold into the match. That was a lot to do with how she played.”
Cibulkova has reached the quarter-finals in Wimbledon twice, most recently in 2016 as well as having won the WTA Finals title – her biggest title to date.
Konta continued: “I think Domi really strives on competitiveness. She does fire herself up. That’s why she has been I think No. 4 in the world. That’s why she won Singapore. That’s why she’s been a Grand Slam finalist. She’s someone who fights and competes very, very hard.
“When you couple that with when she plays well, she’s very hard to beat. I came up against kind of a perfect storm from her today.”
With the points from last year’s semi-final coming off, Konta is now set to drop out of the Top 40, an unless she can pick up some points in the run-up to the US Open, she could find herself unseeded.
“I was actually just going to say I hope I can deal with it as well as Domi does. To be honest, I think this Wimbledon is another demonstration of how seeding is not the be all, end all. The depth we have in the women’s game, how players can play very well in any certain match, I am not terribly worried of losing a number next to my name.”
Konta will next play in San Jose, which takes place between 30 July – 5 August.
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