Konta leads Brits in US Open Qualifying

By Glenys Furness

  • Brydan Klein, Johanna Konta, Kyle Edmund all progress
  • Naomi Broady fights through
  • Liam Broady falls in first round

New York, USA – The qualifying rounds for the US Open of the year got underway and here is how Brydan Klein, Johanna Konta, Kyle Edmund, Liam & Naomi Broady all got on in their opening rounds.

First up of the Brits was Klein, he faced the number eight seed Dusan Lajovic. The Serb made the better of the conditions at the start, achieving more points on the first serve, in windy conditions the seed took the opportunity to break just once, but this was all that was needed to seal the first set. The second set saw the Brit start to get the better of the windy conditions as the Serb began to struggle on serve. Klein broke the seed three times as he levelled up the match with an impressive set score 6-1. The final set came down to who could get the more points on first serve. With Klein getting 50% of his first serves in, but winning an enormous 86% of points on it, whilst the Serb could only manage 50% of the points won on first serve, despite 70% of the first serves going in, the match was on the Brit’s racquet. Klein was not letting this match go and sealed the win over the eighth seed 6-2 in the final set.

Next up Liam Broady was against the 11th seed Inigo Cervantes. Broady was serving really well in the first set, although only one ace compared to Cervantes’ five. The seed also served up five double faults in the first set, fighting to break the Brit. Broady and Cervantes exchanged breaks in the set, however the Brit secured the set by getting the extra break and he had the first set 6-4. The second set again saw both players taking advantage of the break points, however the Spaniard was winning much more of the first serve points. This was enough for Cervantes to level the match 4-6. The final set was just as close as the others, with the seed again taking both of the break point opportunities and more points on first serve. Ultimately this was the difference as the seed sealed the win 5-7.

On day two, the remaining first round qualifying matches took place. Edmund seeded sixth was facing Canadian Peter Polansky. The Brit came out with intent and managed to win 90% of points on first serve, combined with three aces and 73% points won on second serve the Canadian was not getting a look in, and did not get any break point chances. Edmund had chances on the serve of Polansky, and secured one break of serve to seal the set 6-3. In the second set the Brit continued the momentum as he converted the one break point he earned, whilst saving two on his own serve. The points earned on first serve again proved vital as Edmund hit 89% compared to the Candian with 79%. The match went to Edmund in straight sets, as he secured the second 6-4.

The British ladies started their qualifying too with Konta and Naomi Broady in action. Konta seeded three and coming to New York on the back of the titles in Vancouver, had drawn Reka-lucka Jani. The Brit appeared to be having issues with serve as only 52% first serves were in, however Konta won 65% of points on first serve. This proved to be the vital difference in a tight first set, that the third seed won 7-5. In the second set again only 52% of first serves were in, but the points won on first serve rose to a very good 81%. Although dropping serve once in the set, the Brit broke twice to take the set 6-4 and progress into round two.

Naomi Broady was the final Brit in action in round one, and had drawn Barbora Krejcikova. The Hungarian player got the stronger start as Broady struggled with the serve as both ladies took 100% of the break point chances, the only difference was that the Brit only had one chance in this set. Eventually the Hungarian sealed the set 4-6. In the second set Broady appeared to have shifted the momentum, as the Brit was serving much better with 60% first serves being in and scoring 71% of points on first serve. With the break secured in the set Broady went on to level the match taking the second set 6-4. The final set proved to be a very tight affair as the Hungarian and Brit exchanged a break of serve. Ultimately the set ended in a tiebreak, in which Broady saved match points before coming out on top in the tie break 10-8

Round two starts Thursday and continues into Friday.  At the time of writing, Klein and Konta have played their second round matches, both won in straight sets.

Play continues in the qualifying event at 16:00 BST.

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