Konta falls to US Open defeat while Murray prepares for round two

Konta falls to US Open defeat while Murray prepares for round two

28 August 2018 / 20:49
Johanna Konta's US Open dreams were dashed in New York as she fell at the first hurdle to France's Caroline Garcia.

The British number one, who suffered with illness for much of the build-up to the final Grand Slam of the year, was overpowered in the sapping New York heat.

She was broken twice in the first set by sixth seed Garcia, who claimed it 6-2, and although she improved in the second set the French player was too hot to handle.

Garcia sealed victory on the Konta serve to win the decisive set 6-2 with the result ensuring no British woman will be in the second round.

A year ago it would have been hard to imagine Konta falling at the first stage of any tournament but injury and illness have hampered her since.

She arrived in New York ranked fourth in the world a year ago and one of the heavy favourites to lift a maiden Grand Slam.

But she has since fallen out of the top 32 and when it comes to the Grand Slams, that leaves a player vulnerable to a nightmare draw.

Garcia, the sixth seed, is as tough as Konta could have got and with illness draining her energy levels in the build-up, this was always going to be a tall ask.

Still, Konta looked strong in the opening games – holding serve with ease while threatening to break the French player.

But Garcia grew as the first set went on and hit an impressive 12 winners to take it 6-2.

Konta is not one for giving in easily though and she bravely held her first service game of the second set with two booming serves – one saving a break point.

But Garcia’s menacing groundstrokes proved too much and she rounded out a 6-2 6-2 win.

Konta was the only Brit in action on day two, but on Wednesday both Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie compete in the second round.

Murray, who won his first Grand Slam match in 14 months against James Duckworth, faces a familiar foe in Spain’s Fernando Verdasco – a man he beat on his way to the Wimbledon title in 2013.

“It's my job in that match to stop him dictating and hopefully I can be a bit more offensive and keep him on the back foot,” Murray said.

“Before the tournament I said I wasn't expecting to go far and I don't think anything changes after beating James.

“I'm still taking it one match at a time, but it's great being back playing.”

Norrie, who saw off Australia’s Jordan Thompson in round one, faces unseeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

Sportsbeat 2018