Johanna Konta was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in Rome

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko

There was no birthday victory for Johanna Konta as she was beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Konta, celebrating her 27th birthday, could not build on a fine start and her search for a top-10 victory in 2018 goes on after sixth seed Ostapenko fought back to win 2-6 6-3 6-4.

The British number one was looking to reach the quarter-finals in Rome for the first time and was hugely impressive in the opening set against a below-par Ostapenko, who complained of feeling dizzy.

But the Latvian showed with her stunning victory at Roland Garros last summer that she possesses some of the most potent attacking shots in the game and she began to find her groove in the second set.

After going 2-0 down, Konta fought bravely to stay in contention in the decider, saving a succession of break points, but she could not break the Ostapenko serve and slipped to defeat after two hours and 13 minutes.

Despite the defeat, it was another encouraging performance from Konta and further signs she is recovering the lost confidence that has seen her ranking slip to 22nd.

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