By Ros Satar, in Bath
- Johanna Konta def. Aleksandra Krunic 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2
- Great Britain advance to April’s World Group II play-off.
BATH, UK – Johanna Konta overcame a mid-match collapse to close out another tough three-setter which sends Great Britain into April’s World Group Play-off.
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Johanna Konta def. Aleksandra Krunic 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2
This whole week has been one of revelation as far as British Bo, 2 Katie Boulter is concerned as she comes through her singles debut unbeaten, but also a test of the resolve and grit of the British No. 1 Johanna Konta.
After tumbling back down the rankings following a break out year in 2016 through the first half of 2017, the fight back to confidence has been arduous at times for the Brit. She has been put through the ringer twice, notching up the longest time on court and the worry was that fatigue would start to show.
It was less than an ideal start for the Brit as Aleksandra Krunic broke in the first game, leaving it to the Brit to keep calm and carry on, eventually pegging her back. The drama did not stop there with four breaks in a row leading up to a commanding tie-break for the Konta as Krunic seemed to go off the boil.
Krunic is the kind of player that can frustrate Konta, and it was important to get off to a quick start, with the Brit taking an early lead with a break, but Konta’s slight lapse saw her coming back at the Brit to level things up once more on serve.
Fatigue really looked to be setting in, as Konta threw in a careless game for Krunic to get the break for a 5-4 lead and a chance to serve out for to level the match as the momentum shifted once more.
More drama was to come as Konta sank to her knees as she was leaving court to change her outfit, and after about seven minutes returned to the court to try and play. Winning the first six points was remarkable enough. Keeping the points short, she got the first crucial break and held for a 4-1 lead to give her some (literally much needed) breathing space, before breaking Krunic to win before falling to the court in tears.
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It was an end to an emotional week which saw the British No. 1 be on court just shy of ten hours.
Konta said: “I started progressively feeling more and more unwell. Light-headed, feeling shaky, feeling a little bit out of body. It got the better of me at the end of the second set. I tried not to panic and tried again to assess what I could and do the best I could.”
“I don’t even remember how the last point finished,. I remember the ball didn’t come back and I was overcome with a lot of emotion basically.”
The draw will be made for the World Group II play-offs on Tuesday 12 February.
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