• Johanna Konta had to retire a set up and two games down after an abdominal injury, which meant she could not continue
  • Francesca Jones put up a spirited resistance to Shelby Rogers but in the end her debut ended in defeat.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Fran Jones’ great run ended in the first round, and injury put paid to Johanna Konta’s campaign in the first round of the Australian Open.

 

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Shelby Rogers def. Francesca Jones 6-4, 6-1

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Francesca Jones’ debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam ended at the hands of Shelby Rogers, despite a valiant attempt to fight back.

Jones was swiftly down a break, but we have seen through the qualification rounds that she has determination and patience, and she bided her time to break Rogers back and get the score-line back on the level, but Rogers hung on to break for the set.

Things went away very swiftly in the second set, with Rogers leaping out to a 5-0 lead. Momentum shifted swiftly in part to a disputed automated line-call in the second game where Jones was ultimately broken.

After the match, Jones said: “In the scheme of things it’s one point within the two sets that were played. Of course big difference serving at Love-30 to 15-30 when it’s 2-Love, and I think, you know, that’s pretty lucky one there. Well, lucky for her, unlucky for me. As I said, there’s a lot that I still need to improve on, and I’m not going to sit here and say that’s why I lost the match.

“There was plenty of positives though for Jones to take away from this part of the swing. She continued: “As I previously mentioned just being aware of, you know, the quick momentum changes at this level. I think, you know, there are a lot of positives, although my tone of voice might not be seeing it right now.

“I’m going to sit down and watch the match with my coach when I’m slightly more objective, but I think overall I have proved that I can compete at this level, and I think now it’s about accumulating as many matches as possible over the next 12 months against players such as Shelby or even of a higher level.

“My feet are very much on the ground. Back to reality for me, it’s been great here, but it’s all about working hard in the day to day, and, you know, as I said, my feet are very much on the ground, and I just want to get going with what happens next.”

 

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Kaja Juvan [Q] def. Johanna Konta [13] 4-6, 2-0 RET

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The start of the match looked like it was going to be a strong performance by the British No. 1 Johanna Konta as she got an early break, albeit pegged back straight away by the Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan. In a tight match, Konta worked hard to make moves forward again.

An off-court medical timeout saw her come back at 5-4 15-15 after abruptly stopping to call for the trainer. She had already seen two set points come and go and saved a break point before taking the first set.

However, it was apparent in her first service game that she was struggling to get any pace in her serve, and she retired 0-2 down.

After the match, she explained: “I pulled my ab, and that made it difficult for me to serve. I felt it in kind of my second service game of the first set, so then I was just conscious of trying to adapt while using my legs more on my serve.

“Then kind of my second-last service game of the first set, that’s when it started to get quite painful, and I kind of then again tried to just manage it the best I could, but then in my last service game of the first set, that’s where it got just, I guess, that’s when I needed to intervene with the physios to try and offload it in any way with tape and things like that.

“I feel in a bit of state of shock, almost like having an out-of-body experience a little bit.”

“I don’t know when I’ll be playing next. Like I said, right now I need to assess kind of where I am with my body in the next 24, 48 hours and then I’ll have a better idea of what I have, what I’m dealing with.”

Play continues on Day Three of the Australian Open at 11am (Midnight GMT).

 

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