Johanna Konta suffered a shock first round defeat to world number 78 Aleksandra Krunic in the US Open.
Konta, who made the semi-finals with a series of brilliant performances at Wimbledon, was touted as a possible contender for the title in New York as she entered the tournament as one of eight players who are in a race to become world number one.
But, the Brit never looked comfortable in the first-round encounter at Flushing Meadows, and lost the final two sets to the Serbian 24-year-old as she bowed out in three sets, 4-6 6-3 6-4.
After the game, Konta spoke of her opponent: “She played very well. She played consistently much better than I did. I think she was able to raise her level throughout the match, and mine fluctuated a little bit up and down.
“So I think in terms of effort and fight, I competed until the very last point. I think the level of tennis by her was just better today.
“First rounds in every tournament, and especially at slams, it can be tricky, finding your footing ad playing yourself into the tournament, into the match.
“She played quite freely, and I think she was able to find her level much quicker and more consistently. That’s credit to her for dealing with the situation better than I did.
“It’s definitely not an easy loss to take. I would have liked to have been involved here for much longer.”
Konta’s preparation for the tournament seemed to some a little light, with just two matches played after she had taken a break following Wimbledon.
Unfortunately for Konta, this puts her qualification for the season finale – the WTA Finals in October – in doubt. These finals are the showpiece of the year and allow the top eight women players to compete for the title.
However, Konta, who is renowned for her career-defining change of outlook since working with a sport psychologist, was typically balanced in her assessment of the situation.
“I think not to catastrophise it is important. At the end of the day, it is a tennis match. I think to have a healthy perspective on that, in general, goes a long way.
“For me, the goal is to stay healthy for one, and to play a full season, but to keep trying to get better. I’ve still got a few tournaments left in the season and, if Singapore is in the cards for me, then I will take it and be very grateful. If not, I will take what comes my way.”News Now - Sport News