Johanna Konta edged out by Jelena Ostapenko in Rome

Annette Crawford
May 18, 2018

And in a replay of their first-round meeting in Madrid, Anett Kontaveit again got the better of No8 seed Venus Williams, this time in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (3), the Estonian's third top-10 win of 2018.

The Australian completed quite an ordeal of a match that ended early Thursday morning giving her very little time to rest for her third match against Sharapova.

With her hopes of getting back there, the 31-year-old played consecutive days going the distance in each of her wins.

This will be the first match between these two players.

When the serve switched over, she swept the game creating a point's streak in the third game that spanned seven points.

She started strongly, too, breaking twice to take a 5-1 lead as Ostapenko looked sluggish, complained of dizziness, and thumped a slew of errors.

It means that Konta can at least enjoy her birthday in one of the most popular cities on the tour, but she would certainly have preferred to put her feet up and watch her next scheduled opponents fight it out.

Konta broke Ostapenko's opening service game before a further break in the fifth game saw her take the initiative in proceedings.

Jo Konta was unable to celebrate her 27th birthday with her best win since Wimbledon, although she pushed French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko close at the Foro Italico on Thursday.

There are definitely signs of an upturn in the form of the British No 1, which has been patchy in the last nine months, and although she battled hard until the end she could not recover from having her serve broken at the start of the decider. The Latvian's serving was a dire 33 percent, and Konta made hay with her big forehand against the second serve.

The Aussie took the opening pair of games that almost had Sharapova wondering if this was the start to another three-setter. If Sharapova isn't on her game and ready to play a back and forth contest, she's going home. Sharapova captured the double but had trouble putting the match to bed with the Aussie relentless to give in.

Ostapenko held firm amid increased pressure by Konta to secure the victory with her first match point opportunity. She scored a victor nailing the line bringing together a second chance which also went into the net. It was her 19th error of the match to closed her tournament run after 1 hour and 38 minutes. It's not always pretty for Ostapenko and can be sloppy, but she digs deep and finds ways to win more times than not.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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