Johanna Konta battles into second round at Wimbledon

Last Updated July 03 2018, 12:58Tennis
Johanna Konta celebrates her victory
Johanna Konta celebrates her victory

Johanna Konta is up and running at this year's Wimbledon but she had to dig deep to see off world number 88 Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

The British number one, who reached the semi-finals last year, was a 7-5 7-6 (9/7) winner on a hot but blustery Court Two.

Konta needs to avoid an early exit at this year's championships to prevent herself potentially slipping out of the world's top 50.

Her opponent, the 21-year-old Russian, was a tricky but inconsistent player with only one grand slam event win to her name. Vikhlyantseva still managed to give the 22nd seed plenty of problems.

A break point for Konta came and went in the seventh game, the 27-year-old slipping on the baseline as Vikhlyantseva's forehand wrong-footed her.

The pair were locked at 5-5 but two double faults, a clubbing Konta forehand and a long backhand from Vikhlyantseva secured the break.

Having served out the opening set, Konta immediately broke again, turning an awkward-looking return into a breathtaking cross-court winner.

A sloppy service game allowed Vikhlyantseva to level matters at 4-4 and Konta then had to fend off two set points on serve.

In the tie-break Konta, the 22nd seed, squandered five match points but made the sixth count with a forehand volley to progress safely, if not entirely convincingly, to round two.

"The first round is always tricky, both players are trying to find their level," she said afterwards on the BBC.

"The conditions were tricky, it was very breezy, and there were some nerves there, but I enjoyed every second of it and no matter how long I was out there I was going to fight for every point.

"There are some things I should have done better but she played some good points as well. I'm working very hard to be here for the whole two weeks."

Konta faces Dominika Cibulkova next. The Slovakian presents a danger after only missing out on a seeding when Serena Williams was bumped up from her ranking outside the top 100.

Related tennis links

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Monday evening tips and movers

Check out all the tips and market movers for the evening action.

Brandon Stone3

Sky Bet punter lands dream double

One Sky Bet customer enjoyed a weekend to remember when landing an incredible 150801/1 golf double by predicting the Scottish Open and John Deere Classic winners.

Check out today's rumours from the newspapers4

Monday's Paper Talk

Manchester United remain interested in Gareth Bale while Liverpool are still in for Nabil Fekir, according to today's papers.

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament5

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Monday evening tips and movers

Check out all the tips and market movers for the evening action.

Brandon Stone3

Sky Bet punter lands dream double

One Sky Bet customer enjoyed a weekend to remember when landing an incredible 150801/1 golf double by predicting the Scottish Open and John Deere Classic winners.

Check out today's rumours from the newspapers4

Monday's Paper Talk

Manchester United remain interested in Gareth Bale while Liverpool are still in for Nabil Fekir, according to today's papers.

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament5

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

Racing Tips

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Monday evening tips and movers

Check out all the tips and market movers for the evening action.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord previews Tuesday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Beverley for Richard Fahey.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Tuesday's racing preview

High On Light is Keith Hamer's best bet of the day at Beverley and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off
19:30 Killarney
1
(8)
Ingleby Mackenzie
J: R Coakley
16
(0)
Galtymore
J: J A Heffernan
17
(0)
Golden Poet
J: K J Leonard

Football Tips

Neymar in action for Brazil against Serbia

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2018.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

We have two best bets for the World Cup final

World Cup final betting tips

There's a David v Goliath battle in the World Cup final but will France prove just one game too far for Croatia? Paul Higham has two best bets.