FIRST DAY SUR­PRISE

Jo­hanna shocked by Laura af­ter mid­night

New Straits Times - - Sport - EU­GE­NIE BOUCHARD

MADRID

BRI­TISH num­ber one Jo­hanna Konta was knocked out in the Madrid Open first round by Laura Siege­mund in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing.

With all six sched­uled matches on the main Manolo San­tana court go­ing the full three sets, the on­form Laura, fresh from win­ning in Stuttgart last week, and sixth seed Jo­hanna didn’t get on court un­til just be­fore mid­night.

Jo­hanna ap­peared to have han­dled the long wait bet­ter as she took the first set 63.

How­ever, Laura bat­tled back to take her win­ning streak to six matches, four of which have come against top 10 play­ers, by tak­ing the fi­nal two sets 7-5, 6-4.

Eu­ge­nie Bouchard set up a po­ten­tial mouth-wa­ter­ing sec­on­dround clash with Maria Shara­pova by reg­is­ter­ing her first win on the WTA Tour since Jan­uary’s Aus­tralian Open over France’s Al­ize Cor­net 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Eu­ge­nie called Maria “a cheater” last week and sug­gested the Rus­sian should be banned for life af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for mel­do­nium.

“I hope I can play Maria,” said Eu­ge­nie.

“Once I step on the court, ev­ery­thing will be to the side.

“But, you know, in­side my­self, I think I’ll have a bit more mo­ti­va­tion.”

World No 3 Karolina Pliskova was the only seed in ac­tion on Satur­day to sur­vive and even the Czech was pushed hard by Le­sia Tsurenko be­fore win­ning 7-6 (75), 2-6, 6-2.

Ninth seed Madison Keys was beaten by Ja­pan’s Misaki Doi 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

And 12th seed Elena Ves­nina’s poor form since win­ning in In­dian Wells in March con­tin­ued with a straight sets 6-4, 6-4 de­feat to Ro­ma­nian Irina Begu. AFP

Once I step on the court, ev­ery­thing will be to the side. But, you know, in­side my­self, I think I’ll have a bit more mo­ti­va­tion.

EPA PIC

Ja­pan’s Misaki Doi re­turns a shot to Madison Keys in the first round of the Mu­tua Madrid Open on Satur­day. Misaki won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

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