Tennis

Lucky loser Johanna Konta cruises past Annika Beck to claim 50th win of year

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British number one Johanna Konta extended her excellent end-of-season form by thrashing Germany's Annika Beck at the Linz Open.

Konta was beaten in qualifying by Klara Koukalova, her first defeat to a lower-ranked opponent since May, but the Briton was handed a lucky loser spot in Austria to meet Beck in the first round.

The German, ranked 41 and six places higher than her opponent, had won the pair's only previous meeting but it was Konta who came through with a comfortable 6-1 6-3 victory.

The result continues a remarkable few months for the 24-year-old, who reached the last 16 at the US Open in September and beat world number two Simona Halep earlier this month in China. She has lost only three of her last 27 matches.

Konta broke Beck's serve at every opportunity to cruise through the opening set and the world number 47 carried that momentum into the second, opening up a 5-1 lead.

Beck managed to scramble two games back but Konta was undeterred and confirmed her 50th win this year in just over an hour.

She will now play America's world number 42 Madison Brengle in round two.

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