‘Nerves and tension’ get the better of Konta at Wimbledon

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta put up brave resistance but was knocked out in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships on Monday (writes Derren Howard).

Konta, 23, battled for two-hours and 15 minutes but lost in three sets to Shaui Peng of China 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on court 12.

Konta, who lives at the Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne, is ranked No. 96 in the world and was always in for a difficult game against her opponent ranked 35 places higher.

“In the first set she handled the occasion much better than I did,” she said.

“I was playing with a little nerves, a lot of tension, I felt. Obviously when you play like that, you can’t play at your best level.’

Konta added, ‘Obviously this game is very much mental.

‘I am working with a sports psychologist, she’s helping me a lot with how to handle situations, and that’s obviously a work in progress.”

Small consolation for Konta was the £27,000 prize money for a first round loser at Wimbledon and the fact that she has broken into the top 100 recently.

“I’m not sure if it’s consolation,” she said.

“Obviously it’s a small milestone for me, so obviously I take a lot of pride in that, am very happy about that.

“But obviously that’s not my main goal, I’m very much looking forward, wanting to keep moving forward.”

On Tuesday in the doubles Konta and fellow British player Tara Moore were knocked out by Daniela Hantuchova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-4

Elsewhere in the Wimbledon draw big serving Eastbourne champion Madison Keys advanced to the second round in straight sets. The 19-year-old American beat Cuban Monica Puig 6-3, 6-3.

Last night (Thursday) she was due to meet Czech player Klára Koukalová in round two.

Eastbourne men’s singles two-time champion Feliciano Lopez also progressed in straight sets. He beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan 7-6, 7-6, 7-6.