French Open 2018: Johanna Konta loses to Yulia Putintseva in first round

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    French Open 2018
    Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June
    Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.

    British number one Johanna Konta’s struggles at Roland Garros continued as she lost in the French Open first round for the third successive year.

    The 22nd seed lost 6-4 6-3 to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

    Konta spoke positively in the build-up about her ability on the red clay, but made too many unforced errors against an opponent ranked 93rd in the world.

    Heather Watson, Britain’s only other player in the women’s draw, faces France’s Oceane Dodin on Monday.

    Konta pays price for unforced errors

    Konta’s stock rose, along with her ranking, on the back of a wonderful grass-court season last year, in which she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals.

    But she has struggled to match those heights since, reaching just one quarter-final this year, in Brisbane in January.

    Although clay is the former world number four’s least favourite surface, she talked up her ability on the dirt before Sunday’s opening match and pointed to her record in French Open qualifying as an indication she can perform at Roland Garros.

    This defeat, however, was less to do with the surface and more to do with her aggressive, and sometimes wild, shot-making.

    Konta made 32 unforced errors, compared with just 22 winners, with another loose backhand up the line somewhat fittingly ending the match, in an hour and 24 minutes.

    Analysis

    Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith on BBC Radio 5 live:

    Johanna Konta will be bitterly disappointed with that performance. She gave so many free points to Putintseva, who did play well.

    If you hit 32 unforced errors with only 22 winners, then that is what happens.

    But I don’t see a reason why Konta can’t become a good clay-courter. She serves well on any surface, has powerful groundstrokes and moves very well. She was just too offensive against Putintseva.

    More to follow.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/44271038

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/44271038

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