Konta, Edmund make early Aussie Open exits

Last Updated: 21/01/20 6:29am

Britain's Johanna Konta will heading home a lot sooner than she would have hoped
Britain’s Johanna Konta will heading home a lot sooner than she would have hoped

Former semi-finalists Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund both suffered disappointing first-round exits at the Australian Open.

Konta suffered her earliest exit at the tournament with a first-round loss to Tunisian Ons Jabeur at Melbourne Park.

The British No 1, who reached the semi-finals four years ago, was seeded 12th but expectations were tempered by the fact she had only played one match since a quarter-final exit at the US Open in early September.

A knee injury curtailed her season and Konta revealed last month that she might not even make the trip to Melbourne.

She will be heading home a lot sooner than she would have hoped after going down 6-4 6-2 to Tunisian world No 78, who has the type of unpredictable game that even a match-tight Konta finds hard to deal with.

The 28-year-old had always made at least the second round in four previous appearances in the main draw at Melbourne Park, while this is the first time since a second-round loss to Garbine Muguruza here 12 months ago that she has not reached at least the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

Konta took solace in the fact her knee is much improved and felt she paid for a lack of matches.

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.

Johanna Konta

She said: “It’s an unfortunate thing. It’s part of the sport and it’s part of also the way I play, and it’s something that will come with time and matches.

“I think ultimately the main thing was to start playing again, and I am. And how I physically felt out there is obviously a massive tick for me compared to where I was in September of last year.

“I think giving myself that time to find a level that I want to play is going to be important. And 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.”

Konta must now decide where to play next, and she may seek a wild card into the St Petersburg Trophy, which begins two days after Britain’s Fed Cup play-off against Slovakia.

Konta said she would not reconsider her decision to miss the tie in Bratislava on February 7-8.

Kyle Edmund went down in straight sets to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic
Kyle Edmund went down in straight sets to Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic

Britain’s bad start to the day continued with Edmund losing 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to 24th seed Dusan Lajovic from Serbia.

Edmund had a tough draw against in-form 24th seed Lajovic but had led 5-2 when the rain arrived on Monday.

Lajovic won three straight games on the resumption though, and took the opening set on a tie-break to the delight of his noisy Serbian fans.

The match continued to be close but any glimmers for Edmund were snuffed out by Lajovic, who completed the victory with a running forehand winner.

Edmund has now lost in the first round on both his visits to Melbourne Park since making the last four in 2018.

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Source : Sky Sports