By Ros Satar
- Johanna Konta’s match-winning run ends at the hands of Petra Kvitova 7-5 6-3
- Set for a career high in the Top 60 after this run
New York, USA – It was not to be for Johanna Konta, whose 16-match winning streak came to an end at the hands of fifth seed Petra Kvitova as she played her first night match under the lights, 7-5 6-3.
Konta enjoyed a solid run on the grass thanks to wildcards for Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne, before earning a wildcard to Wimbledon, where she drew eventual semi-finalist Maria Sharapova. Following that she opted to prepare for the US Open in ITF tournaments in Canada which paid off with two titles, rendering her match-sharp.
Three rounds of qualifying, three rounds in the main draw and two seeds despatched, yet perfectionist Konta refused to allow herself to be just satisfied with that, as she closes in on British No. 1 Heather Watson when the rankings come up on Monday.
“I’m not blown away by my performance here,” said Konta. “I’m just satisfied that I get a little bit of candy for doing well. I’m just really looking forward to heading already to my next tournament.
“Obviously I need to take a little bit of a break now, just a couple days’ rest, but I’m looking forward to the next plane I’m on to head to Asia.”
Konta was putting pressure on Kvitova from the first game, drawing break points from the fifth seed in three games, but two-time Wimbledon champions don’t often pass up their opportunities, breaking to take the first set.
She gave a good account of herself, going toe-to-toe with Kvitova with just a single break at the end of the second set, and saving two match points at the end.
Kvitova capitalised on double-faults that handed her the pivotal breaks, but admitted it had taken her time to settle.
“From the beginning of the match I was the worst player on the court, but somehow I managed to keep my serve on and wait for my chance,” she said.
But she refused to blame nerves for the two double-faults that handed the breaks over.
“I think if it were stage fright we would have seen it at the beginning of the match. I actually settled quite quickly and enjoyed being out there.
“My mum actually reminded me when I was speaking to her yesterday that when we were here back in 2007 for juniors, I said: ‘This is like the most amazing stadium.’ I completely forgot about that.
“I guess I had a little childhood dream come true, so that’s pretty special.”
Play continues at the US Open from 12pm (5pm BST).