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Konta marches on in Dubai

26-year-old becomes first woman from Great Britain to win in main draw

Image Credit: Reuters
Johanna Konta of Britain hits to Zhang Shuai of China.

Dubai: British number one women’s tennis player Johanna Konta joined a couple of youngsters and the experienced Elena Vesnina in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open on the opening day on Monday.

Handed a wild card here, the 26-year-old player from Eastbourne gave herself a winning debut with a 7-6 (2), 6-2 win against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the final night of the opening day and become the first British woman-ever to win a main draw match in Dubai.

“I am just happy to give myself a chance to stay on in the tournament,” Konta told the late night crowd on centre court.

“And now that I have started off on a winning note I hope I can continue being here for many more days,” she added.

Konta will next meet Daria Kasatkina in the second round on Wednesday. “It is going to be pretty tough going forward,” Konta remarked.

“Daria [Kasatkina] is a tough opponent and she has been playing quite well over the past couple of years. But the idea for me is to just keep on going with my game and see where it takes me,” she added.