Konta battles through to US Open second round

Johanna Konta got her US Open campaign up and running with a battling three-set win over Daria Kasatkina.

The British number one, seeded 16, knew she was in for a tough opening round and so it proved against the unpredictable Russian.

But Konta, cheered on by Avengers star Tom Hiddleston, produced some marvellous shot-making as the end game arrived for Kasatkina, the Brit progressing 6-1 4-6 6-2.

“I’d lost my last two matches to her and expected a long tough match,” said Konta.

“That’s what it was and I’m pleased how I managed to adapt.”

Konta, beaten in the first round here for the last two years, elected to receive and promptly broke her opponent’s serve, aided with a couple of double-faults from Kasatkina.

Konta’s solid service games kept her out of trouble in the opening set while she pounced upon Kasatkina’s second serve at every opportunity, two further breaks wrapping it up in just 23 minutes.

Kasatkina is a better player than that, having been in the top 10 not so long ago, and she began to show it in the second set.

Konta had lost her last two first round matches at the US Open
Konta had lost her last two first round matches at the US Open (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Having finally found her range, she came up with a couple of confident holds followed by a break of the Konta serve for 3-2.

The pressure was building on Konta, who was fuming after a Kasatkina forehand was called out only for the umpire to overrule and award the point to the Russian.

She reached boiling point moments later when her own forehand was called out and overruled, only for the point to be replayed.

Konta regained her composure, though, and secured the crucial break to lead 4-1 in the decider before completing an impressive victory.

Harriet Dart was beaten
Harriet Dart was beaten (Mike Egerton/PA)

The 28-year-old is already Britain’s sole representative in the women’s singles in New York after Harriet Dart tumbled out.

Londoner Dart, who came through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw for the first time, lost 6-3 6-1 to Romanian Ana Bogdan.

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