Sydney | Konta suffers opening round loss
The defending champion Jo Konta suffered a first round defeat at the hands of the wily Agnieszka Radwanska, a former Sydney International champion.
The Pole defeated the British No.1, 6-3 7-5 to avenge the loss she in turn suffered in last year’s final.
That was a really positive thing for me today - that [the hip] held up fine and I recovered well from that Jo Konta
The fourth-seeded Konta was playing her first match since retiring from her Brisbane International quarterfinal last week with a hip injury.
Konta’s second serve proved an issue as she won just two points off her 11 second serves allowing Radwanska to convert three of her five break opportunities.
However, Konta did show some signs of revival in the second set when she recovered from 4-1 down but was unable to make the most of her comeback as Radwanska sealed her win after 109-minutes.
“I’m just so happy to play such a great match before the Australian Open,” Radwanska, ranked 28, said during her on-court interview. “It was a Top 10 level match with some ups and downs, breaks along the way. The conditions weren’t easy, but I’m happy to win in two sets.”
On the plus side, Konta didn’t show any signs of the injury she picked up in Brisbane and has committed herself to competing next week at the Australian Open.
“That was a really positive thing for me today – that [the hip] held up fine and I recovered well from that,” she said during her post match press conference.
One of the positives for the world No.9 was her second set recovery. “Although a little too late, I still was able to find a way to start playing more the way I wanted to play and still dig myself into the match,” she said but admitted that she had panicked. “I think one thing I would like to do better next time is panic less. But again, that is a little bit to do with Aga as well. You know, she does ask those questions of her opponents and of me, and I think the more matches I get to play and then the more clear I am on methodically what I’m doing out there on court, I think the better I will be able to handle those kind of situations.”
Other seeds who have suffered first round losses include the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko (3), Kristina Mladenovic (5), the US Open champion Sloane Stephens (6), and Anastasija Sevastova (8)
Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur won her first-round match, beating Carina Witthoeft 4-6 7-5 6-3 and former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber fought her way past Lucie Safarova 6-7(3) 7-6(8) 6-2 to set up an intriguing meeting with the second seeded Venus Williams.