Australian Open 2017: Konta, Watson, Edmund win

By daily sports on January 17, 2017

Views: 1,856

Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund all won to make it five British players in the Australian Open second round for the first time since 1987.

After Andy Murray and Dan Evans won on Monday, British women's number one Konta beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 6-2.

Edmund played superbly to see off Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2 7-5 6-3 and Watson overcame Australia's 18th seed Sam Stosur 6-3 3-6 6-0.

Naomi Broady will seek to make it six when she faces Daria Gavrilova later.

The last time Britain had six players in the second round of a Grand Slam tournament was Wimbledon 2006.

Konta shows her credentials

Konta last year became the first British woman to reach an Australian Open semi-final since Sue Barker in 1977, and the first to reach the last four at any Grand Slam since Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open.

Konta, who won the Sydney warm-up tournament last week, will next face Naomi Osaka after the 19-year-old Japanese beat Luksika Kumkhum.

It was incredibly tricky. She has the kind of game that can trouble any player

Flipkens, ranked 70 in the world, began well but Konta, considered a serious contender to win her first Grand Slam title, soon improved.

The 25-year-old was serving for the opening set at 5-4 but Flipkens broke back after a 10-minute game which saw both players miss several good chances.

Konta, named the WTA's most improved player of 2016, responded by breaking Flipkens again and then held her serve to love to take the opening set after 51 minutes.

The Briton dominated the second set, securing two breaks of serve, to wrap up victory.

"It was incredibly tricky. She has the kind of game that can trouble any player," said Konta.

"I tried to play myself in to the match and I'm happy to be through. A lot has happened in the last year and I'm just enjoying playing and trying to get better every day."

Edmund shows his maturity

Edmund was hampered by cramp in his first-round defeat by Damir Dzumhur in Melbourne last year, but has worked hard on his fitness.

Despite the temperature reaching 35C, the 22-year-old looked assured throughout his contest with the 91st-ranked Giraldo.

He will meet Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spanish 30th seed who went through after Canadian Peter Polansky retired in the fifth set.

"Last year was a very different scenario, so it was nice to concentrate on my tennis and let my body take care of me," said Edmund.

Watson wins after two-hour battle

British number two Watson, who has lost in the first round in her past three appearances at the Australian Open, was broken early by home favourite Stosur.

However, former US Open champion Stosur could not keep any consistency and Watson eventually secured a place in the second round after two hours and 15 minutes.

"There were some very long games and I had a slow start in both of the first two sets - in the third I wanted to make her work," said Watson, 24.

"Sam's a great player - she's beaten me both times before. I felt I prepared really well and felt fit in that third set."

Watson, ranked 81, will face American Jennifer Brady or Belgian Maryna Zanevska in her next match. (bbc.co.uk)

•Photo shows Johanna Konta

Source daily sports

Posted January 17, 2017

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