Off to a good start

Britain’s Johanna Konta and Dan Evans have progressed to the second round at the Sydney International but unfortunately, Kyle Edmund, the British No2, fell in the opening round of the second warm-up event for the Australian Open which starts in a week in Melbourne.

When you start a season, you always start with some confidence

Britain’s Johanna Konta and Dan Evans have progressed to the second round at the Sydney International but unfortunately, Kyle Edmund, the British No2, fell in the opening round of the second warm-up event for the Australian Open which starts in a week in Melbourne.

Sixth seed and British number one Konta beat Australian Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-4 in her opening match of the womenŠ—Ès event while the unseeded Evans won 6-3 4-6 6-3 against Thiago Monteiro of Brazil in the menŠ—Ès where Edmund went out losing to Australian qualifier Matthew Barton, an Australian ranked 153 places below him, 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

The loss was a disappointment and cast a damper on his 22nd birthday celebrations of the previous day.

Meanwhile EvanŠ—Ès victory was his first win on the ATP tour since last September at the US Open.

In other matches Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, seeded 5, toppled ItalyŠ—Ès Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-4, while in a battle between two qualifiers, PortugalŠ—Ès Gastao Elias got the better of AustraliaŠ—Ès Christopher OŠ—ÈConnell after two and half hours, 6-7(3) 6-4 6-1. In another lengthy battle, ItalyŠ—Ès Paolo Lorenzi outlasted GermanyŠ—Ès Florian Mayer 7-6(3) 7-6(5).


Cibulkova dominates her opener

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More matches were played in the womenŠ—Ès event which saw the third seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia reach the second round following a comfortable 6-2 6-0 victory over GermanyŠ—Ès Laura Siegemund.

Cibulkova, who will next play Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard in round two, commented following her victory: "When you start a season, you always start with some confidence, not doubt, but you always need to get into this match rhythm. It’s not easy.Š—

AustraliaŠ—Ès Samantha Stosur once again failed to live up to expectations in her home country losing 6-3 6-1 to RussiaŠ—Ès Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but Daria Gavrilova kept the home crowds hopes alive with her 6-3 7-6(1) victory over Croat Donna Vekic,

Meanwhile the ever-popular Dane, Caroline Wozniacki, seeded 10, fought her way past the reigning Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, 6-3 2-6 6-4.

RussiaŠ—Ès eighth seeded Elena Vesnina had to retire in her match against Coco Vandeweghe of the USA while trailing 2-6 0-4 as did her doubles partner, Ekaterina Makarova losing to Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic, 6-3 7-5

Finally UkraineŠ—Ès Kateryna Bondarenko lost to Christina McHale of the US, 4-6 7-5 6-2; ninth seed Roberta Vinci of Italy ended the hopes of Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari in straight sets 6-4 6-0 and ChinaŠ—Ès Ying-Ying Duan defeated Irina Falconi of the US 7-5 3-6 6-0.





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