LEXINGTON, KY, USA -- Marie Bouzkova notched another win over Johanna Konta in the 2020 season, as the Czech upset the No.3 seed, 6-4, 6-4, in the opening round of the inaugural Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics.
"Today, I felt like I served well when I needed to, and I was able to dictate from my serve, and then I just stayed strong in the important moments," Bouzkova said in her post-match press conference.
The World No.48 clinched her second victory over a Top 20 player this season -- her first Top 20 win of this year was also over Konta, which came in the Monterrey semifinals in the week prior to the tennis calendar’s hiatus. Overall, Bouzkova has won five of her 12 meetings with Top 20 opposition.
The lone Czech in this week’s singles field, Bouzkova’s win over Konta in Monterrey put her into her first-ever WTA singles final. Her rising form from earlier this year seems to have continued unabated, as she earned another victory over the British No.1 in just over two hours on the hardcourts of Lexington.
Bouzkova won a superb 61 percent of points returning Konta's second serve, and she saved six of the seven break points she faced, helping her sail into the second round.
"I had expectations, I felt like I was practicing well all these months," said Bouzkova. "On the other hand, I knew that coming into a real match, I shouldn't have that many expectations, because it’s different."
After the players withstood a four-hour rain delay, World No.15 Konta had to fend off break points in the first game of the match and asked for a medical time-out in the second game. Nevertheless, the Brit maintained parity with Bouzkova up to 3-3 in the opener.
The Czech, however, earned the critical break in the following game, as she took a 4-3 lead after a Konta forehand miscue into the net. Bouzkova had no issues holding through to double set point at 5-4, and the 22-year-old closed out the set on her second opportunity after a Konta service return flew long.
A powerful error-forcing forehand gave Konta the initial break in the second set, as the Brit went ahead 2-0. But Bouzkova scooped out a dropshot winner to reach double break point in the following game, and swiftly got back on serve by cracking a forehand return winner crosscourt.
Konta valiantly saved four break points at 3-3, and very nearly repeated the trick at 4-4 as she erased Bouzkova’s first two chances in that game with aggressive play. However, a long backhand by Konta on the third gave Bouzkova the break and a chance to serve for the match at 5-4.
From 15-30 down, strong serving led Bouzkova to match point, and she converted her chance after a final rally ended with Konta sending a forehand miscue long.
Bouzkova’s second-round opponent will be either Anna Blinkova of Russia or a player from the qualifying field.