By Ros Satar
- Misaki Doi def. Johanna Konta 4-6 7-5 6-2
- First win for Doi over the Brit in four meetings
- Books berth in quarter-final to face Irina-Camelia Begu
ROME, ITALY – Johanna Konta’s winning run on clay at a tour level came to a halt in round three despite a promising start.
Right from the start the Brit looked to be in the driving seat, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before Doi broke back. The play continued to be competitive but the single break was all Konta needed to close out the first set.
It even looked like lightning would strike twice as Konta broke at the start of the second set, but this time Doi wasted no time in securing the break straight back before surging ahead to break Konta twice more, building up a 5-1 lead.
Serving for the set for the first time, Konta forced her way back into the match and in some style, winning the next four games in a row and saving three set points in the process. But when it came to trying to edge a second set tie-break, a further two set points were saved before finally Doi broke to take things into a decider.
While she tried to put Doi under pressure at the start of the second set she could not find a way through, and the breakthrough came for Doi as she broke for a 4-2 lead, delivering the final cut as she broke for the match.
Last year Konta came through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw of the French Open for the first time, including being edged out of an epic 7-6(17) first set tie-break with Denisa Allertova. While she faltered in the main draw of Stuttgart and Madrid, she looked as though something clicked this week.
The conditions in Rome are probably closer to Paris in terms of the type of clay used and being at sea level, as opposed to the slick indoor clay of Stuttgart and being at altitude in Madrid.
Assured of a seeding in Paris, she should take some confidence from her first two rounds.
Play continues at the Internazionali BNK d’Italia at 12pm (11am BST).
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