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