Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta ran into an in-form Ons Jabeur, falling 6-3 6-2 in an hour and 10 minutes to the Tunisian in the third round at the Nature Valley International. The British No.1 said: “I just played an opponent who played very well today. I don’t think I did anything wrong.
I actually thought I did quite well in the amount of questions I asked my opponent today, and she just was answering them every time Jo Konta
“There is very few things I could have tried differently or more of. I actually thought I did quite well in the amount of questions I asked my opponent today, and she just was answering them every time.”
Tournament No.6 seed Simona Halep won through a tough battle against Polona Hercog 6-1 4-6 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals saying she had struggled in the windy conditions at Devonshire Park. “Singles was pretty tough. I knew that she’s gonna hit very strong, and her forehand today was pretty, pretty strong. Serve also, 118 miles. It was really tough to return.
“But I knew that I have to stay strong on my legs and just not being very defensive. So I tried to stay as much as possible close to the baseline.”
Halep will take on No.4 seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinal after the German beat Rebecca Peterson 7-6(4) 6-0.
Two-time finalist Kerber said she hadn’t had any difficulty acclimatising to Eastbourne’s conditions having reached the semi-finals in Mallorca last week. “Of course it’s a little bit different, but I think I’m a player who needs one (or) two hits and then I’m pretty fast at really getting used to the conditions,” said Kerber.
“I like to play on grass. For me, it actually doesn’t matter if it’s hot or it’s raining. It’s just a great tournament for me. I have great memories, and I’m always playing good here, feeling good. So it’s great to have another match before going to Wimbledon.
“This is the best preparation for me for Wimbledon. You (play) here, the fans are cheering for you, and you have good opponents, you have the competition. Every match is really tight and close. You have to play good tennis. That’s why I’m coming every year back to have these matches before another Grand Slam.”
Elsewhere, No.2 seed in the women’s draw, Karolina Pliskova, beat Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2 to win through to a quarterfinal against Ekaterina Alexandrova, while defending champion Caroline Wozniacki crashed out after a two hour, 21-minute battle against her 2018 final opponent Aryna Sabalenka, who recovered from 2-5 down in the final set to run out the winner 2-6 6-4 7-6(5).