The Dell Boys
The Dell Boys


Jo Konta recuperates to overpower Hsieh Su-Wei at Wimbledon opener

Jo Konta recuperates to overpower Hsieh Su-Wei at Wimbledon opener

Johanna Konta has reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career after over three hours of tense tennis.

"There is much more expectation, much more pressure, from me, from outside, from everything", said the 29-year-old.

She lifted her game, her serve improved, and Konta found herself all at sea, as they battled in two tight sets before Vekic found herself back in winning ways.

This was looking like another dizzying week for a player who became Britain's first female Grand Slam semi-finalist since Jo Durie in 1983 at the 2016 US Open, as she defeated both new French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and Kerber on the same day. "The first set I just felt great, pretty flawless", Watson said in her postmatch press conference. "I feel lucky to have come through". "It came back positive, so that has given me that much more confidence to search for and make some more creations".

There are times when Konta, with her repeated talk of "process" and "bubbles" can sound like she is reciting a text from a self-help book.

Sixth seed Konta, 26, secured a 6-2 6-2 victory against the player who beat her at the French Open in May. She served out the set, 7-6 (3), after 67 minutes. Crucially she would break again at the end of the set before serving it out for a lead.

She faced and saved break point and turned the attack on her opponent to go 0-30 up with a bold drive volley, and twice worked match point.

The crowd roared its approval as the two women embraced long and warmly at the net.

'I do know which way to turn for the toilets and the showers in the top-16 locker room, ' she joked when asked whether she's better equipped to deal with life at the top at Wimbledon.

But she evidently did not let emotions take control. Wins in qualification for tour events resulted in early main draw exits and her start to the grass court season could not have been more inauspicious as she fell in the first round of the lower-tiers ITF event in Surbiton, before flying back to Paris to watch Stan Wawrinka in the Roland Garros final.

"Of course, there are things that are a little bit tough and hard to do, as well, but, I mean, it was always a dream".

The world No. 102, a wild-card entry, matched her best run at the Championships - she reached the third round in 2012 and 2015, where she was two points away from upsetting Serena Williams.

Konta - looking to become the first British women's victor here since Virginia Wade in 1977 - is third favourite with the bookmakers behind Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova and knows the spotlight will be on her for next fortnight.

follow

editors' picks