Konta keeps cruising to reach San Jose quarterfinals


Serena Williams experienced one of the worst losses in her career as the 23-time Grand Slam champion was crushed 6-1, 6-0 by Johanna Konta in the first round of the WTA San Jose tournament on Tuesday.

Both women were playing their first match since Wimbledon, where Williams finished runner-up to Angelique Kerber and Konta lost in the second round to eventual quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.

Williams, wearing a long-sleeved red dress and headband and cheered by the pro-Williams crowd, lost her second service game in the initial set and Konta then held for 3-1 as Williams made unforced errors with her timing not quite consistently there on the serve and ground game.

As poorly as Williams played, the 27-year-old Konta was sharp, firing six aces and smacking 17 winners to Williams' nine while controlling the tempo of the match.

She looked nothing like the player that dominated the Tour for years, winning 72 singles titles and earning more than US$86 million in prize money. Williams missed returns and sprayed her groundstrokes long and wide.

The Sydney-born Konta, who captured her first WTA title two years ago at Stanford, got on a roll and didn't take a chance in letting Williams get back in it.

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The second set was a competitive affair, as Kenin started to win numerous close games she had let slip away in the first set, due to stronger serving and effective dropshots. She got two games at the 2014 WTA finals in Singapore, falling 6-0, 6-2 to Simona Halep. Though, Konta has faced Serena's sister, Venus Williams, on multiple occasions but also trails 3-4 in their head-to-head record.

"I tried to put aside the incredible champion she is and just play the player of the day", she said. "After all she's achieved, it's so humbling just to come up against her".

"It's an absolute privilege for me to be on the same court", Konta, the world No. 48, said.

"I don't believe in big bang moments, or magic moments where the fingers click and it all comes together, I believe in continuous hard work and everyday perseverance, putting in the work and trusting the process".

"I suppose things went wrong in the second game since I won the first - it was the only game I won in the match".