Konta prepares for US Open qualifiers

Johanna KontA
Johanna KontA

Eastbourne tennis star Johanna Konta will go into to next week’s qualifying rounds of the US Open in the finest form of her career to-date.

The British no.3 currently sits just outside of the world’s top 100 at 116, and will look to take her place alongside the world’s finest players if she can maintain the momentum that has prompted her rise through the rankings and led to her winning two of the last three ITF titles on offer.

Konta triumphed in Winnipeg earlier this month before taking the title in the biggest win of her career so far in Vancouver.

There, she didn’t drop a set and beat third seed and home favourite Sharon Fichman in the final, netting prize-money of $100,000 in the process.

She also faired well in the Koser Jewelers tournament in Pennsylvania and looked on course for a hat-trick of victories as she eased through to the quarter-finals.

But 12 victories on the bounce seemed to have taken their toll and the Brit eventually retired.

After the retirement in Pennsylvania she took to Twitter to say, “Ran out of gas in the tank today, rest and recovery now for a couple of days and then get ready for the open.”

In last year’s debut appearance at Flushing Meadows Konta negotiated the qualifying rounds with relative ease and beat a higher-ranked opponent in Hungary’s Timea Babos in the first-round proper. A close-fought contest in the second-round saw her exit to Belarusian Olga Govortsova but with the experience and another year as a professional, she will hope to improve on an encouraging first outing.

Should Konta put in the sort of performance that her form suggests she might, qualifying for grand-slams will be a thing of the past as she will find herself qualifying automatically in the not too distant future.

She goes into the draw alongside fellow Brits Tara Moore, Elena Baltacha and Samantha Murray, Qualifying starts on Tuesday, August 20 and continues to Friday, 23..