By Ros Satar

  • Ashleigh Barty [16] def. Johanna Konta 7-5 6-4
  • Onto Beijing next as Konta looks to pick up points towards the end of the season
WUHAN, CHINA – Johanna Konta lost her opener to Ashleigh Barty in Wuhan for the second straight year, as she struggled to close out a comeback.

 

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Ashleigh Barty [16] def. Johanna Konta 7-5 6-4

It was a case of déjà vu for British. No. 1 Johanna Konta as she faced Ashleigh Barty in her opening round in Wuhan for the second straight year. While this match was not maybe one of their three set epics, it was close, and one where momentum shifted either side of the net.

It was Barty who took the initiative early I the first set, breaking after the first change of ends, but Konta’s resolve saw her break straight back. It was roles reversed as she broke for a lead and then was pegged straight back by Barty. The Aussie clawed her way to a final break to secure the first sense.

Konta looked to start the brighter of the two, breaking straight away at the start of the second set, and it looked as though we would be in for one of their more epic three-setters. The Aussie struck back twice in succession, with four games in a row to serve for the match.

There she seemed to come unstuck as Konta saved a match point and then broke Barty for a shot at keeping her match alive. She would save one more match point, but was broken for the third time in a row to end her time in Wuhan at the hands of the Aussie for a second straight year.

Konta is still in the doubles which will at least afford her some more match-time on court before she heads to Beijing. There she had one more defeat n 2017 before calling time on her season and relinquishing the Race to Singapore for the second time in a row. This year there is no such pressure, but a couple of decent runs in Beijing and Moscow might at leat give her a little confidence to end the season.

WTA Beijing takes place between 1-7 October.

 

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