AEGON International: home crowd brings out best in Konta

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta said the home crowd helped her to victory as she breezed into the second round of the Aegon International.

The British number three saw off Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic in straight sets on court two at Devonshire Park and goes into the draw for the next round, which will be played tomorrow (Wednesday).

“I saw the amount of people who were around and it’s always nice to play in front of a crowd,” she said.

“The energy is much higher and it makes our job a lot more exciting when you’re playing in front of people.”

Konta showed great determination to come back from a break down in set two, eventually winning the match 6-3, 6-2.

The first set was tight as neither player could make the breakthrough, and Konta had to wait until game eight to break the Bencic serve.

She held her nerve in the final game and despite failing to convert her first set point, she composed herself to go a set in front.

She got off to the ideal start in set two, breaking immediately, only to be broken herself straight after. But the gutsy Brit didn’t allow that setback to get to her and broke back before breaking once more in game five.

Bencic dug in after that, though, to save eight match points but Konta, who said she expected nothing less than a tough match, stayed calm to claim victory and a place in the next round.

“I’m very happy with my performance,” Konta added.

“I knew going into it that Belinda was in good form and she’s had to win three matches to qualify. I played her earlier in the year so I knew I had to play like that and I’m happy to get through.”