Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Donna Vekic not relying upon previous Johanna Konta win before Wimbledon rematch

Wimbledon Tennis: Konta, Watson fly the flag for Britain at Wimbledon
Vera Richards | 06 July, 2017, 01:53

Johanna Konta edged a marathon three-set battle with Donna Vekic to reach the third round for the first time at Wimbledon.

Early breaks were swapped in the first set before Konta found her range and reeled off the next four games, clinching the set with a wonderful forehand half volley off an attempted pass, played from behind her.

British No. 1 Johanna Konta on Monday took revenge on Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei at Wimbledon, sending the Taiwanese home 6-2, 6-2 after losing to her in the first round of the French Open. Vekic was looking just too sharp and forced her way to two set points.

"I think after such a battle, you kind of feel both your own and her emotions, because there wasn't much separating us", Konta said. "I feel good to play".

'It's not realistic for me to look far ahead in terms of what is something that helps me, and that's to stay present very much in the moment, very much into each match at a time.

It was a war of attrition, and in the 18th game of a drawn-out final set, it was Vekic who cracked. All that fretting that Konta's aching thoracic spinal cord would cause Britain's best hope to miss her home tournament felt like a fuss over nothing when she commenced her Wimbledon campaign with a serene 6-2, 6-2 victory against the inventive but flimsy Hsieh Su-wei, the Taiwanese doubles specialist who knocked her out of the French Open, even though it was only on Sunday that fretting over the disgusting bang to her head, that sent pain tumbling into her upper back, receded. Wednesday's match was only her fourth of the season.

After 67 minutes of draining tennis, the second set was even more topsy-turvy.

The two women were now heading to two hours of tennis and, unsurprisingly, took the opportunity to leave the court for a few minutes before embarking on the do-or-die decider. There were love holds here and there, and then each seemed to work inroads with 0-30 leads. It began with three breaks in the first five games, and there was nearly a fourth, but Vekic held.

She next plays what looks like a very winnable match against the 21-year-old Greek woman, Maria Sakkari, ranked 101 in the world. She reached the final at a grass-court warm-up tournament in Birmingham last month but lost to Vekic.

"Of course, there are things that are a little bit tough and hard to do, as well, but, I mean, it was always a dream". She could be heading for the second week at Wimbledon for the first time.

Konta - looking to become the first British women's victor here since Virginia Wade in 1977 - is third favourite with the bookmakers behind Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova and knows the spotlight will be on her for next fortnight.

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