Johanna Konta eases through as Katie Boulter sets up Naomi Osaka clash with upset win over Coco Gauff
Britain’s Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter had strong wins in Melbourne as the countdown to the Australian Open continues.
Fifth seed Konta defeated Bernarda Pera 6-2, 6-3 in 81 minutes in the second round of the Gippsland Trophy at Melbourne Park, with the British No 1 crucially saving three break points on her way to victory.
The 63rd-ranked American struggled with her serve throughout and double-faulted six times before being broken for match point, while Konta got into a rhythm early as she continues her recovery from a knee problem.
Back on court smiles 😁😁 pic.twitter.com/1SvuE8yu8n
— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) February 2, 2021
Boulter, ranked down at 371 after a lengthy spell out with a back injury in 2019 and playing at just her second WTA event in close to two years, managed to stun American teenager Coco Gauff 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
The 24-year-old began her season the day before with a dominant victory against 107th-ranked Russian Anna Kalinskaya, but had to battle hard to defeat Gauff, with the fourteenth-seeded 16-year-old double-faulting three times in the final game. Next up is second seed Naomi Osaka.
Meanwhile, Heather Watson said she was “not putting a lot of pressure on myself” ahead of the Grampians Trophy, which begins on Wednesday in Melbourne.
The world No 58 left hotel quarantine on Friday and told reporters she was “super excited” to begin training on actual courts but was taking a considered approach to the warm-up tournament.
I don’t feel like spending another night in a hotel room so I think I might just sleep here tonight 😁 pic.twitter.com/QkNfQsdo4y
— Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) January 29, 2021
“It’s obviously unusual circumstances, so I’m just, it will be interesting to see how my body is tomorrow, just see how it goes, but I’m not really putting a lot of pressure on myself for this next tournament,” she said in comments carried by Tennis Australia
“And, yeah, like I said, it’s a really unique situation, so I’ve just got to sort of play it by ear, play it day by day.”
Dan Evans, seeded eighth in the Murray Open, will begin his campaign in Melbourne in the second round on Wednesday after he received a bye and will face Portugal’s Pedro Sousa.
WATCH: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini in heated exchange as accusations fly
Stefanos Tsitsipas was pushed all the way by Italy’s Fabio Fognini but held on for a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win.
Andy Murray on the challenges of playing with a mental hip as he makes Davis Cup decision
Murray has opened up on the challenges of trying to compete at the top of the game with a mental hip.
Former British No.1 says Andy Murray is on track despite defeat against Alexander Zverev
Andy Murray was left to lament missed chances, as he went down to a 6-4, 7-6 defeat against Alexander Zverev
Agonising defeat for Leylah Fernandez as she crashes out at Indian Wells
Fernandez’s hopes of banishing her US Open final defeat with a win at Indian Wells ended as she was beaten by Rogers.
Emma Raducanu set to play a key role in deciding how cash will be spent to help women’s tennis
Raducanu is set to be handed a chance to have direct input into how money from Amazon Prime Video is used.
Preview: Conditions could help Andy Murray upset Alexander Zverev at Indian Wells
Andy Murray attempts to continue his fine…
Andy Murray confident ‘unbelievably bright’ Emma Raducanu will deal with her ‘little bump’ in a mature way
Andy Murray has his say on Emma Raducanu’s hiccup in Indian Wells.
Cameron Norrie holds off Roberto Bautista Agut in Indian Wells to reach last 16 of Masters event for first time
British No 2 will next meet American Tommy Paul.
Novak Djokovic and co urged to get vaccinated if they want to compete at the Australian Open
“If I was an ATP or WTA player, I’d be getting vaccinated.”
Top seed Karolina Pliskova, defending champ Bianca Andreescu and Coco Gauff all crash out
Three big names taste defeat in Indian Wells.