Johanna Konta beats Madison Keys, Mischa Zverev advances in Brisbane

Johanna Konta prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 over US Open finalist Madison Keys, while Mischa Zverev also progressed into the next round of the Brisbane International tennis tournament

tennis Updated: Jan 01, 2018 22:42 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Brisbane
Johanna Konta,Madison Keys,Mischa Zverev
Johanna Konta of Britain hits a return against Madison Keys of the US during their first round women's singles match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane on Monday.(AFP)

Johanna Konta opened her season with a tough 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys at the Brisbane International on Monday.

Fifth-seeded Konta entered the Australian Open tuneup tournament after losing her last four matches in 2017, including a first-round exit at the U.S. Open.

After dropping the first set, Konta hit form quickly and had decisive service breaks early in the second and third sets before clinching it on her second match point, breaking Keys’ serve to finish off in just over two hours.

“To get the chance to play such a high-quality match so early on is only a good thing to me,” Konta said. “And to be able to come through in a three-set match as well and to get that much court time, it’s a good thing.”

Keys, playing just her second match since her career-best run at the U.S. Open, had 11 aces and hit 37 winners but made 38 unforced errors in humid conditions on Pat Rafter Arena.

“It was good tennis today — I haven’t played a match in four months, so it’s like a win for me,” Keys said. I “Played really well. She played better. I’m not that upset about it.”

In other matches, third-seeded Elina Svitolina opened with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Carla Suarez Navarro and 2012 champion Kaia Kanepi beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2. Two seeded players went out in the first round, with Lesia Tsurenko beating No. 8 Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-2 in a night match and qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich ousting No. 6 Kristina Mladenovic 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova withdrew from the tournament earlier Monday because of a viral illness and was replaced in the draw by Heather Watson, who lost 6-0, 6-3 to Anett Kontaveit.

On the men’s side, No. 8-seeded Mischa Zverev held off Australian qualifier John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 7-5, Ryan Harrison beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, Horacio Zeballos had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ernesto Escobedo and Jared Donaldson beat Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-4.

Mischa Zverev into second round

Meanwhile, Mischa Zverev powered past Australian qualifier John-Patrick Smith 6-4 7-5 to enter the second round of the Brisbane International.

Eighth seed Zverev fired four aces in the match and converted five out of six break points to come through in an hour and 28 minutes. The German will meet the winner of Tuesday’s match between Argentine Federico Delbonis and American Michael Mmoh.

Earlier, local hope Matthew Ebden dumped out Frances Tiafoe with a 6-3 6-2 victory that set up an all-Australian second round clash with the big-serving Nick Kyrgios.

“Nick has obviously got a great serve,” Ebden said, looking ahead to Wednesday’s match.

“That’s one of his biggest weapons that carried him through well over the past few years, with the upsets and good results that he’s had. He’s obviously good around the court. He moves well for a big guy.

“Last year I played (Ivo) Karlovic, I played (John) Isner, these kind of guys. So I wouldn’t say Nick’s serve is maybe as big or as tall as those guys’, but he’s obviously very accurate and uses it well.”

Ryan Harrison downed Leonardo Mayer 6-4 3-6 6-2 while fellow American Jared Donaldson eased past Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-4. Horacio Zeballos needed 72 minutes to beat Ernesto Escobedo 6-3 6-4 and meets Alexandr Dolgopolov next.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 22:37 IST