Konta suffers defeat as Dart arrows through in Australia

Konta suffers defeat as Dart arrows through in Australia

21 January 2020 / 14:41

British No.1 Johanna Konta was simply relieved to physically make it through the match despite exiting the Australian Open at the first-round stage, while Harriet Dart progressed after a three-set thriller.

Konta, who represented Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in Melbourne.

But it was only the 28-year-old’s second match since coming back from a five-month lay-off with a knee injury.

"Ultimately the main thing was to start playing again, and I am,” Konta said.

“And how I physically felt out there is obviously a massive tick for me compared to where I was in September of last year.

“Before Brisbane, I had been out for almost five months so it's been quite a bit of time away.

"Giving myself that time to find a level that I want to play is going to be important. I also played a very good opponent, so it’s not all on my racket.

“I knew that by taking a decision to come play here, I was opening myself up to potentially it not going well or for it to be difficult.”

There was joy for Dart however, as she overcame Japan’s Misaki Doi in a final-set tie-break, winning 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-6).

Dart joins Dan Evans in the second round after the British No.1 came from two sets down to beat USA’s Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 on the opening day of action.

Kyle Edmund, an Australian Open semi-finalist in 2018, was knocked out by Serbia’s 24th seed Dusan Lajovic, losing 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

There was also disappointment for Cameron Norrie – who went down 7-5, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to France’s Pierre-Hughes Herbert – while Katie Boulter lost 6-4, 7-5 to Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

Sportsbeat 2020