LONDON, Great Britain - British No.1 Johanna Konta delighted the crowd at her home Grand Slam with a solid, straight-sets victory over qualifier Ana Bogdan to move into the second round of Wimbledon.
It was a rematch of their Rabat clash earlier in the year, which saw Konta rally back from a set down to advance at the tournament - where the Brit eventually reached her first clay final.
She comes into the tournament looking to transfer the magic of her clay season onto the grass courts of Wimbledon. After her Rabat final, Konta went on to reach the final in Rome and semifinals at Roland Garros - a Grand Slam where she had never even won a match previously.
Konta, who has reached as far as the semifinals here in 2017, claimed a hard-fought first set against Bodgan and then soared in the second to win, 7-5, 6-2 after just under an hour and a half.
“There was very little in that match,” Konta acknowledged afterwards. “I think first rounds are always tricky in any tournament, but especially Slams. So I think it was just finding my feet and also for her a little bit, as well, I think we were just both trying to find the best level that we could.
“I was really pleased with how I served, how I just competed in general. I thought I just accepted whatever was coming my way. She was playing actually really well and tough. Overall just pleased to have come through.”
Konta stayed solid through a tight opening set, which had just one break point on offer across 12 games. She played her aggressive game against Bogdan, moving up through the court to close points at the net and hitting confidently to strike winners against both wings.
The Romanian qualifier did well to stay toe-to-toe with Konta, but one loose service game at 6-5 was all Konta needed to earn the break and take the opening set.
Bodgan bounced back admirably after dropping the first set, surging in the second to create her first pair of break chances on the Konta serve - but the Brit held firm to see off both and make it 2-1. Konta raised her level as well, dialling up the intensity and responding with back-to-back breaks of serve, reeling off the last four games in a row to seal the match.
“I think I dealt with the challenges well out there,” Konta said. “There were plenty of them. I was pleased with just how I played the game, just really tried to find a way to problem solve out there.”
Up next, Konta will take on Katerina Siniakova in the second round. The Czech player came back from a set down against Ekaterina Alexandrova, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 to advance.
“She's a tough player,” Konta acknowledged. “She had a great win in Paris. She's able to beat some of the best players. She has a big game. She's feisty. She competes very well. Obviously she's a very, very good doubles player as well.
“It will be a tough match for me. Yeah, looking forward to another tough match against a tough opponent.”