Dubai | Kasatkina KOs Konta
Jo Konta was bumped out of the Dubai Championships by the 20-year-old Daria Kasatkina, a player she said would prove tough to beat when she won through to the second round earlier this week.
At one point I was laughing, I did think we were playing two separate matches because she looked fresh as a daisy. That was not a great feeling Jo Konta
Konta, ranked 12 in the world and seeded 7, lost 6-4 6-7(6) 2-6 saving seven break points in the opening set before taking the lead after 59-minutes
The second set took longer with the Russian levelling the match by taking the tiebreak with the clock reaching the 76-minute mark. Overall the match lasted two hours and 59-minutes, the longest recorded in Dubai since 2008, finishing just after midnight on Wednesday, and the fifth longest in the history of the event.
Konta squandered two match points in the second set tiebreak and made 63 unforced errors which basically cost her the match.
Kasatkina will face fellow Russian Elena Vesnina in the quarter-finals who saw off Latvian fourth seed Jelena Ostapenko, the French Open champion 6-1 7-6(6) who is struggling to find her form.
And Ukrainian top seed Elina Svitolina, the defending champion, will take on Japanese wild card Naomi Osaka in a bid to secure her place in the semi-finals.
“It was such a tough match. We spent like three hours on the court, but felt like one hour on a court because I was so much in the match,” Kasatkina, ranked 24, commented later. “But now I feel a bit weird because it’s done. It was such a big battle, such a big fight. So I’m just happy that I survived.”
Adding: “I didn’t control my emotions, so… Really, I was just playing with my instincts, and that’s it, because my head was not working anymore.”
Konta conceded that she ran out of steam towards the end of the match.
“At one point I was laughing, I did think we were playing two separate matches because she looked fresh as a daisy. That was not a great feeling,” said the 26-year-old British No.1.