Johanna Konta recovers from second-set wobble to beat Lesia Tsurenko in Aegon Classic first round

Elsewhere, Petra Kvitova marked her return to her beloved grass with a 6-2 6-3 win over fellow Czech Tereza Smitkova

Eleanor Crooks
Tuesday 20 June 2017 15:10
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Johanna Konta recovered from a second-set wobble to beat Lesia Tsurenko in the opening round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

The British No 1 had little time to adjust to the courts at the Edgbaston Priory Club after reaching the final of the Nottingham Open on Sunday.

There she suffered a shock loss to Donna Vekic, and the world No 7 was in trouble again when she trailed 5-2 against Ukraine's Tsurenko in the second set.

But Konta, who called the doctor early in the second set, won three games in a row and then took her third match point in the tie-break to win 6-3 7-6 (8/6).

Earlier, Petra Kvitova marked her return to her beloved grass with a 6-2 6-3 win over fellow Czech Tereza Smitkova.

The two-time Wimbledon champion took a wild card into the tournament after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from the serious hand injuries she suffered when she was stabbed by an intruder in December.

Kvitova made her comeback at the French Open, partly so she could focus solely on tennis when the grass season came around.

Johanna Konta serves in the second set

"It feels different," she said. "I'm happy that I have everything done with the media and the pressure and everything with the comeback in Paris.

"So I'm glad that now I can focus on tennis, especially on the grass. And that's important that I am back in reality and just playing the matches."

Kvitova, who next meets Britain's Naomi Broady, was content with both her performance and the condition of her hand.

The 27-year-old suffered wounds to all five fingers, with nerve damage in two of them, and is still treading carefully.

Petra Kvitova beat Tereza Smitkova

She said: "I think this first match on the grass was pretty good. I think that I served well and I played good shots from the baseline.

"I think that she served very well, especially first serve. I had good timing on the court today and I'm happy with the way I played.

"We are still worried about the hand, so we are not practising that much. We still have days off to work on my hand, and it was very good today. So I'm happy with that the most."

PA

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