By Jake Davies
- Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Johanna Konta  6-3, 7-5
- Konta now moves on to the Australian Open where she is defending quarter-final points.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Johanna Konta falls at the first hurdle in her bid to defend the Sydney title she won twelve months ago.
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Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Johanna Konta  6-3, 7-5
The match really didn’t go to plan for Konta, who was returning for her first match since retiring injured in Brisbane last week. The frequency in which she missed regulation rally balls from the baseline will have disappointed her and the amount of times she sprayed backhand unforced errors, particularly in the first set, will be another area have her game that she’d like to sure up, especially considering it is a shot she normally controls in her sleep.
Neither really settled on serve in the opening set. Konta started the match well on return and we saw signs of her giving the necessary punishment to the Pole’s second serve, but the Brit could never really show her authority or the consistency required to solidify her grip on the match, which allowed Radwanska to claw her way back and she converted 3 of 5 break opportunities to win the first set.
Konta was a set and 1-4 down, but sparked a fightback to get the match back on serve from a double break deficit, which was encouraging, but Radwanska extinguished any Konta hope as she got over the line to win the match in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
Another very promising sign is that Konta’s movement was very good. Many suggested that Konta may not be as explosive off the ground with the Australian Open just around the corner, but there was no real signs of Konta being hampered with that right hip problem, which is pleasing for her and coach Michael Joyce.
Ultimately, the Sydney title defence ended in disappointment as Konta would have liked to defend her title in her birthplace, but she will recognise that she has a serious challenge ahead, perhaps an even greater challenge, as she locks eyes on making a great run at the 2018 Australian Open. A fully fit Johanna Konta is in the mix as one of the realistic Grand Slam contenders.
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