In her first match since reaching the French Open semifinals, home favorite Johanna Konta got off to a winning start at the Nature Valley Classic.
WTA Staff
June 17, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Great Britain - It was a happy homecoming for Johanna Konta at the Nature Valley Classic on Monday.

The No.7 seed downed Anett Kontaveit in her first match on grass, and first match since reaching the French Open semifinals, 6-4, 6-2.

"I think I'm obviously pleased with my performance in general. I thought it was a consistent performance throughout the match and nothing about it was easy, that's for sure," Konta said.

"I definitely was pleased even when there were some tight moments in certain games, or certain points. I just enjoyed myself being out there, being on the grass, and just thought I competed."

Konta handled the dangerous Kontaveit, who owns a grass court title and two third round appearances at Wimbledon, with aplomb over the course of 72 minutes on the Ann Jones Centre Court.

In their second career meeting, Konta broke the World No.20 twice in each set, and never faced a break point on her own serve in the second set, to move safely through to the second round. 

"I was just keen to just play the game out here. It is slightly different than the clay obviously, and the grass asks different things of you," Konta said. 

"There's a lot more points which can be a little bit out of your control because it's a much faster surface and sometimes you are surviving in the point.

"I was happy that I was able to just find a way to keep playing, to keep trying to ask questions of my opponent.

"No single match guarantees anything, that's for sure, but I really enjoyed being on the grass playing the match I played today. I had a very tough opponent out there and I had to really make sure that I didn't have too many dips in my level because she was always going to be right there."

Konta will next face either Polish teenager Iga Swiatek, the reigning junior Wimbledon champion who successfully qualified after reaching the fourth round of the French Open, or former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko.