- Sorana Cirstea def. Johanna Konta  2-6 7-6(5) 6-4
NEW YORK, USA – Johanna Konta joined the exodus of seeds before the third round, as she was beaten by an inspired Sorana Cirstea.
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Sorana Cirstea def. Johanna Konta  2-6 7-6(5) 6-4
Coming into this match, Cirstea had never even taken a set off Konta in her two losses to the Brit, including that emotionally charged encounter in a Fed Cup tie in Romania. Certainly at the start it looked as though the match would take a similar path with Konta quick out of the blocks breaking immediately at the start of the match, and despite having to regain the advantage after being pegged back, broke once along the way to taking the first set.
Cirstea lifted her level a lot in the second set, and despite being broken once more, broke back straight away and kept things on an even keel to the tie-break. Konta had chances – four in all – to break the Romanian once more, but could not convert, and in the tie-break it soon became one-way traffic for Cirstea.
In the decider, the upper-hand always felt like it was with Cirstea. She was the first to break, albeit pegged back immediately, but when she broke Konta again, time was running out for the Brit. She failed to capitalise on three break-back points, and despite saving two match points, Cirstea stepped up and served the match out to love.
After the match Konta said: “I obviously started better. I think my level was a lot higher than hers in the first set. But she’s a great player. She’s had some pretty amazing results also in the past in her career. She’s capable of playing some very good tennis. She obviously raised her level. We were battling kind of toe-to-toe really. She just was better in the end.
“Surprised? No. Frustrated? Obviously. To be honest, I think what we’ve seen time and time again in every tournament is that these are the best players in the world, so on any given day they can play incredible tennis. Obviously the higher you are ranked, the more consistently you are able to play that level. However, everybody’s capable to play some really amazing tennis. That’s what she did.”
The tour will move swiftly to Europe, but Rome is the next most likely landing point for Konta, ahead of Roland Garros.
She continued: “We’ll see kind of before then on what’s the plan really, kind of what awaits when we get back home. I don’t really know what the procedures are of everything as well right now either.
“As far as I understand, I’m fairly certain that because I’m coming from an elite bubble to enter another elite bubble, i.e., the NTC when I go home, all I need to do is get a test done before I enter the NTC. I do know to go to Italy, to go to Rome, you have to have a test done I think within 72 or 48 hours. I don’t know. I think it’s something like that. I guess we’ll see (smiling).”
Play continues at the US Open from 11am (4pm BST).
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