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WTA Ladies Tennis • Johanna Konta Hands Serena Most Lopsided Loss Of Career In San Jose

Joanna Konta of Great Britain returns to Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia during their first round match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 03 July 2018 EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL



By: Thomas Cluck


The beautiful, brilliant Northern California nights have been blessed by some fantastic evening tennis this week at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, and the San Jose crowd was packed full for the first match for Serena Williams at the new location at San Jose State University against 2016 champion in Stanford, Johanna Konta.


The sold-out Bay Area crowd, expecting a heroic return to the US Open Series for 23-time major winner Williams, would be sorely disappointed. A brilliant performance from Konta, a former top four player just a year ago, and an uncomfortable, sluggish, and slow showing from Williams resulted in the most lopsided loss of the American legend’s career, picking up just one game in the 6-1, 6-0 rout Tuesday night.


After an easy, routine hold to begin the match, Serena would not win another game. Konta, currently ranked 48th, showed the confident, aggressive tennis that saw her upset Serena’s sister Venus in the final up the road at Stanford two years ago and win Miami in 2017, reeled off 12 straight games and stunned the Bay Area crowd.


“I think I’m playing consistently better and better, which is the biggest challenge in the sport. I made the final in Nottingham which gave me a lot of confidence in playing five matches back-to-back which I hadn’t had in nearly a year,” explained the Brit following her stunning rout of Williams.


While Konta put up a masterclass in how to play confident, aggressive tennis against Williams, taking the ball as early as possible, it was a thoroughly less than up to par performance from the American former number one, looking rusty with her game and her movement. It was understandable from Serena given just two weeks ago the 37 year-old played in the Wimbledon final, the peak of her comeback so far, and Williams is still only less than a year from giving birth to her first child in September.


Serena Williams of the USA plays Julia Goerges of Germany during their women’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2018. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG

“I think she [Konta] played better in this match than she did in about 18 months so I think that’s a good thing for her. I know I can play a zillion times better, so that helps too,” assessed Williams following the match.


“I think she played well in the second set and I think I wasn’t sharp at all in the first set and she got confident and she clearly ran away with it.”


Williams tried to fight back towards the beginning of the second set, but was unable to do so, and quickly fell behind once again, never creating a break point on Konta’s serve. Ultimately, a dejected-looking Serena would fall in just 51 minutes.


“I have so many things on my mind that I don’t have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn’t at my best right now. I can only try to be there,” said Williams, wisely putting her loss into perspective.


The 37 year-old entered into three US Open Series events leading up to the final major of the year in New York City, with Montreal next week for the American. However, with Cincinnati the following week and the US Open still to come, Williams’ appearance in Canada at the Rogers Cup next week is no guarantee.

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