Last night, Johanna Konta showed a timely return to form to send a slice of joy to Great Britain with a decisive win at the Western and Southern Open.
After a five-month layoff due to the Corona virus, just a week after experiencing heart palpitations on her return to action in Lexington, Kentucky, Konta routed former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 6-0 to reach the third round.
And a major moral booster at the US Open, which will be played on the same courts in New York as this week’s event and begins Monday, after her attempts to remain completely fit in the lockout were hindered by knee issues.
“Of course I’m very happy to get a win,” she told reporters through Zoom. The first since Monterrey, which was… a long time ago, six months ago. I’m certainly glad to have another chance to play tomorrow.
Konta said she is “making up ground” with her knee in terms of her recovery process.
Where you take time off, heal it, come back and then you can play again, it’s not an easy injury,” she said. “These kinds of tendon injuries can take years of regular therapy and reinforcement.
Konta, who has had her fair share of coaches, works with Thomas Hogstedt, the former coach of Maria Sharapova, a partnership she hopes will be extended for a longer time.
“I’m definitely enjoying having him as part of the team, him getting to know me,”I definitely enjoy having him as part of the team, having him get to know me. “He also spent a week with us in London, we’re talking day-to-day, seeing how it goes and hopefully something will come of it.”
Konta will meet former No. 2 world champion Vera Zvonareva, a 35-year-old Russian who is back on tour following maternity leave and a series of injuries, and beat Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-1, 6-1 yesterday.
Although Andy Murray was scheduled last night to play his second-round match against No. 5 seed Sascha Zverev, Dan Evans would continue to wait for his first Masters 1000 doubles win after being defeated 6-3, 7-5 by Canadian Milos Raonic.
The former number three world, now number 30 after an injury, admitted just four points to his own service and did not admit a single break point.
For Raonic, a break in – set was enough to win, while Evans is now preparing for the US Open, where last year he reached the third round.