By Derren Howard
Johanna Konta enjoyed a comfortable straight sets victory in the first round against Aleksandra Krunic on Tuesday at Devonshire Park.
Konta cruised to victory 6-1 6-3 in one-hour and 14 minutes much to the delight of her home crowd on a packed centre court.
Her next opponent, top seed and former champion Caroline Wozniacki, promises to offer a sterner test.
“I haven’t played Caroline in some time so I am looking forward to that battle,” Konta said after the match.
“She is a Grand Slam champion this year.
“I am happy with how I played here, I knew Aleksandra would be difficult to face so I was glad I was able to keep my focus.”
Konta, who reached the semi-finals of Eastbourne and Wimbledon last year, was too powerful for the Serbian from the start.
Her only wobble came at 3-1 up in the first. She was forced to save two break points, the second of which she slipped to her knees but improvised with a nice dink over the net to seal the point. She easily served out for the first set with minimal fuss inside 29 minutes.
Krunic, a Russian-born Serbian ranked a career-high 39th in the world, was in trouble. She called for her trainer and received a medical time out.
She emerged for the second looking like she’d been in a minor car crash, with heavy strapping all up her right arm and also on her left knee.
Krunic battled bravely and held her serve in the first game of the second but Konta, the British No 1, was never in trouble.
Match point soon arrived and the Eastbourne player rushed to the net and punched a volley into wide open court and celebrated one of the easier wins on her home court.
Wozniacki, tomorrow, will not be quite so straight forward.