Johanna Konta is out of the Aegon international after losing 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 to hard-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi.
Eastbourne’s British number two came agonisingly close to progressing herself after taking the first set with ease, but lost the second before failing to convert a match point in the third.
“It was a tough match, she’s a very good player, she hits very hard, very fast, so obviously she’s a very tough opponent on these grass courts,” Konta said
“There wasn’t much in it, even in the first set (which Konta won 6-1). They were all very close games.”
For Giorgi, the result marks another impressive comeback having come from a set down to win an epic three set match against Victoria Azarenka yesterday.
That match seemed to have taken its toll as the Italian showed signs of tiredness early on, with her double fault handing Konta a 4-1 lead in the first set. And she failed to recover as the Brit took the next two games, and the set, convincingly.
Konta began the next set sluggishly, though, and found herself at 0-40 in the first game. But her fighting spirit is fast becoming a trademark of her game and she saved three set points, while Giorgi, who had misfired on numerous occasions in the first set, continued to hit unforced errors as Konta survived the scare.
The Italian regrouped and started to get her eye in from then on in, though. And Konta found herself being continually put under pressure by her opponent.
She was unhappy with a call from the umpire which meant Giorgi broke to take a 5-4 lead but composed herself brilliantly to break straight back with Giorgi serving for the set. The Italian did likewise, though, with a break of her own and held on in the next game to level the scores.
By now Giorgi was in the ascendancy and a tight third set looked like it might go either way. With Konta 5-4 up she had the chance to seal the match but to the Italian’s credit she saved the match point well and broke in game 11 before a viscous serve into the body sealed the win and a place against Caroline Wozniacki in round three.
Konta will begin preparations for Wimbledon and despite failing to go through she is encouraged by her performances in Eastbourne this week and has particularly enjoyed being back in her home town.
“I think it’s been a good week,” she added
“I’ve got to stay at home and I’ve played some great matches on grass. I’ve had great support so it really has been an enjoyable week for me.”