Konta heads for the exit

Konta.australian .open .18012018 .1162

Johanna Konta’s indifferent form continued at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Marketa Vondrousova further demonstrated her potential by defeating the struggling Brit 7-6(5) 6-4 to secure a significant victory and progress into the third round.

Not much has gone right for Konta since reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon last summer. She appears bereft of confidence and her once steady baseline game has deserted her.

The 26-year-old, who will tumble down the rankings if she doesn’t put up a strong defence of her Miami Open crown later this month, has much to ponder as she tries to arrest her alarming slide.

Konta made a slow start against her youthful Czech opponent - and she was down a double-break after just three games. It took the No.11 seed time to adapt to the lively conditons, however she still managed to pull level on the scoreboard at 4-4.

The first set was a prolonged affair played in unforgiving heat, and the sky-high temperature undoubtedly contributed to the fluctuating quality.

Konta looked set to complete an impressive comeback when she created three set-points chances on her opponent’s serve in the tenth game, but hesitancy prevented her from making the most of a promising situation.

A fourth set-point came and went for the Brit in the 12th game, and she was left to rue missed chances as a tiebreak was eventually reached. At 5-6 in the shootout, Vondrousova clipped a delightful short-angled forehand winner to prise a 75-minute opener from the grip of her opponent.

The first set had been played a frenetic pace, and there was a noticeable drop in intensity at the beginning of the next. Konta made the first move and established a break in the fifth game, but it was a lead she could not maintain.

When the Brit stepped up the line at 4-5, there was a sense of inevitability regarding what would happen next. The Czech was soon in celebration mode after Konta floated a rare backhand slice beyond the baseline.

It was another close battle that had gone against the Brit, but credit must go to Vondrousova, a teenager with a very bright future.

Elsewhere on the grounds, Simona Halep did enough to see off Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 6-4, Petra Kvitova pipped Yulia Putintseva 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 6-4 in a marathon duel and Naomi Osaka netted another big win, this time over Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-2.

Posted by: tennishead magazine

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