Powerful Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

Erica Murray
January 19, 2018

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza lost 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 to world No 88 Hsieh Su-wei.

Pera will play Barbora Strycova in the third round.

Her exit was one of several shocks on the fourth day of the grand slam, as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka also fell victim to surprise defeats.

Having reached the last four in the past, the ninth seed was hoping to challenge for a maiden Grand Slam crown Down Under but her tournament is over before the second week.

Johanna Konta insisted her Australian Open loss to lucky loser Bernarda Pera was not a "massive catastrophe" as she contemplated an early flight home.

A single break of serve for 5-4 was enough for the world number 123 to sew up the first set after 39 minutes when Konta sent a backhand long, and Pera was soon all over the Briton's serve in the second.

Pera showed signs of nerves for the first time serving for the match - three match points came and went as she tightened up and Konta dug deep for a hold, only to lose her serve in the next game with a very odd slip.

"I didn't play very much in the last six months of a year ago, so..." I battled, and I competed.

'I'm actually looking forward to just continuing to play.

"It's a bit frustrating, but I'm still taking the good stuff from this".

After losing in qualifying, Pera only made it into the main draw as a lucky loser, after another player withdrew through injury.

As on court temperatures soared in Melbourne, Konta wilted in the heat.

Konta started brighter in the second and snatched an early break but the American fought back to level.

Konta then saved three match points on her own serve before holding, and went on to prolong the encounter when breaking Pera to make it 5-5. "I felt a little less nervous at 6-5".

However, the 26-year-old Brit slipped over to be broken after a disastrous service game and Pera made no mistake in seeing it out this time.

Other reports by Insurance News

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