By Ros Satar
- Ekaterina Siniakova def. Johanna Konta  1-6 6-4 6-4
- Sydney next for the Brit after praising young opponent
SHENZHEN, CHINA – British No. 1 and World No. 10 Johanna Konta ended her strong start to the season at the hands of young Czech Katerina Siniakova.
Ekaterina Siniakova def. Johanna Konta  1-6 6-4 6-4
Having never won back to back matches at Shenzhen, Johanna Konta buried that curse in fine style in her opening round (against Cagla Buyukakcay) but since then has had hard battles through to the quarter-finals.
Certainly the start of the match looked to be a formality for the Brit as she coasted through for the loss of just one game, but Siniakova has really impressed this week with her ability not to dwell on matters when things are not going her way.
She chased everything down, and tried for every ball, earning a break early at the start of the second set and saving a break point while serving for the second set.
The decider was a more nervy affair for both, trading breaks at the start of the second set. When Konta broke again for a 4-2 lead, it looked as though she would be lining up for her third career final, but the Czech took advantage of a tense game by Konta to break straight back, breaking the Brit again before serving the match out to love.
As reported in WTATennis.com Konta told reporters: “I think she definitely started slower in the match, and me, quite well. But all credit to her, she really raised her level in the next two sets. She was going for every single shot and played quite freely, so it was a difficult match for me to do what I would have liked. But that’s a credit to her.
“I’m happy I got to play four really great matches in the first week of the season. I feel very fortunate to have gotten that time on court and I’m already looking forward ot my next event.”
There is indeed a lot for Konta to take out of this run – it is the first time that she is starting the season ranked inside the Top 10 and will have picked up some good points, as she heads into Sydney for the first time since 2015, where she reached the final round of qualification. She will certainly be expecting to get a few more matches under her belt before defending semi-final points at the Australian Open.
The Apia International, Sydney takes place between 8-14 January.
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