It was a disastrous start to Jo Konta’s French Open campaign as she crashed out to the word No.109 in the opening round as she extended her results at Roland Garros to no wins in four appearances.
I'm definitely taking all the good things from this period, because I think there are quite a lot. And I do think the things that I built through these last few weeks I will be able to transform to the grass. Jo Konta
Nonetheless the seventh seed remains happy with her progress on clay this season despite losing her way against Hsieh Su-wei having brushed her aside in 24-minutes for the loss of just one game in the first set.
Hsieh then adapted her own game to frustrate the British No.1 with a variety of shots and tactics which Konta was unable to find an answer to as the 31-year-old from Chinese Taipei took command with her slices and drop shots in the second set.
Konta is clearly not at home on clay for her only answer as to hit the ball harder in her attempts to push her opponent of the court.
This proved unsuccessful as Hsieh having leveled on a tie break, then took the decider to win 1-6 7-6(2) 6-4
Konta as always, takes a realistic view. “My expectations are never results-orientated. Whether I’ve lost first round or third round or quarters, I do my best to not judge myself on that aspect.
“Obviously, I like to be involved in a tournament for as long as possible, and I would have liked to have been involved here longer.
“But, in terms of the match that I played and the improvements that I feel I’ve made and that I have spoken to my team about, and we all seem to be on the same page. I do feel I’m a better player at the end of these last few weeks on the surface than I was at the beginning and that is the most I can ask of myself: to keep improving.
“If that doesn’t always come through in results, that’s part of sport. I played a player who played incredibly well, who was inspired, and that’s also something that I’m also very happy to be a part of because it gave me another opportunity to learn about myself and see the things that I can do better.”
Konta will now head home to begin preparations for the grass-court season, where she will be one of the star attractions at tournaments in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne.
The BritishNo1 added: “I’m definitely taking all the good things from this period, because I think there are quite a lot. And I do think the things that I built through these last few weeks I will be able to transform to the grass.
“I will head home probably as soon as I can and probably go home to Eastbourne for a couple days. I know my parents have missed me.”
In contrast Romanian third seed Simona Halep moved smoothly into the second round with a 6-2 6-3 win over Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova, showing no ill effects from the ankle ligament she tore less than two weeks ago.
“Today was a great day for me. I really played well,” she said courtside. Halep faces Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the second round.
Fifth seed Elina Svitolina proved too strong for Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4 6-3, while Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova made light work of Germany’s Mona Barthel 6-0 6-4.
Elsewhere, fellow seeds Barbora Strycova, Carla Suarez-Navarro and Caroline Garcia defeated Alison Riske (6-3 6-0), Maria Sakkari (6-4 6-2) and Nao Hibino (6-2 6-2) respectively. Anastasija Sevastova and Daria Kasatkina also booked their spots in the second round.