Johanna Konta survives testing clash - and three rain breaks - to make round three in Miami

Simon Briggs
The Telegraph
Johanna Konta in action in Miami - FR596 AP
Johanna Konta in action in Miami - FR596 AP

There were eight Britons on the various entry lists for the Miami Open. But when Andy Murray pulled out with a damaged elbow, he set off a chain of disappointment: two first-round defeats in qualifying and four more in the main draw.

By Tuesday night, 10th seed Johanna Konta - who received a first-round bye - was our only representative still standing. So it is a relief to report that Konta scrapped her way through to the third round in the most agonising fashion. Her 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 victory featured 2hrs 39mins spent on court, including a late medical time-out for her opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich. And that was before you figured in the three rain breaks.

This was never going to be a pretty match to watch, thanks to the ferocious wind swirling around Crandon Park and making the ball dance unpredictably in the air. Certainty was a hard quality to find, and the first set swung on a donated game from Sasnovic – the world No 120 - that featured two double-faults and a couple more wild errors.

<span>Johanna Konta is protected from the rain</span> <span>Credit: REX FEATURES </span>
Johanna Konta is protected from the rain Credit: REX FEATURES

That gave Konta a 4-2 lead, which she extended with three more straight games. But despite taking an identical advantage in the second set, she had a hard time closing out the win against Sasnovich’s determined retrieval skills. One headlong scramble left Konta bleeding from a grazed knee, sustained while tumbling in pursuit of a lost cause. 

Konta thought she had brought up a match point at 5-4, only for a Hawk-Eye over-rule to reveal that Sasnovich’s forehand had caught the outside of the line. Then the players found themselves in a tie-break – itself broken by a shower – that Sasnovich edged via a lower error count.

The third set, inevitably, was another tight one, but Konta led 4-2 yet again and managed to hang on this time. The difference lay in the serves: six aces and no double-faults for Konta, zero aces and 12 double-faults for Sasnovich. At least the British tally in Miami now stands at one win to place against the six defeats.


What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes