By Ros Satar
- Johanna Konta wins her 14th match in a row since Wimbledon – Defeats Louisa Chirico 6-3 6-0
- Laura Robson was agonisingly edged out in a dramatic turnaround in the deciding set against Elena Vesnina 3-6 6-3 7-5.
New York, USA – Johanna Konta continued her upwardly mobile progress through the rankings with another win (her 14th in a row) as she continued her progress in the US, defeating Louisa Chirico in straight sets.
In a performance described as her best ever by Fed Cup team captain Judy Murray, Konta kept her nerve and handled American wildcard Chirico, who was not to dismissed lightly. The American beat British No. 1 Heather Watson in Washington, and the expectation was that this was going to be nip and tuck all the way.
Konta struck first with an early break and although she was broken back straight away, she kept her head together to push ahead with another break before fighting off three break points against her to take the set.
In fairness to Chirico, although the second set score-line makes it look like an unholy drubbing, the first couple of games were competitive, none more si tha the second game where once more Konta had to dig deep to save four break points. After that she was on a tear, breaking to love in the next game and pushing on to serve out to love for the match.
A delighted Konta spoke to BBC Sport, saying: “It looks good on paper but I don’t really treat this win any differently from the previous 13. I’m really happy I was able to deal with things out there and take my opportunities.”
It was almost a back to back win for the Brits, as Robson started strongly against Elena Vesnina, breaking the Russian to take the first set, before her serve started to let her down. Whether it is a lack of match practice, or now becoming some psychological issue, Robson was up 4-0 before Vesnina started to pull herself back in the match as the errors racked up.
By Robson’s own admission, she took everything off her serve and almost felt as though she was waiting for Vesnina, who has tumbled out of the Top 100, to hand her the match, instead of playing perhaps more aggressively and taking it from her.
She said: “Any loss is tough, but that one especially because if we’re being honest, I should have won. That definitely makes it harder and makes me more determined to work harder for the next one.”
She will face Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza, who she beat in Eastbourne earlier this year, when the second round concludes on Thursday.