Australian Open

Venus sent packing by breakout Brit

2016-01-19 06:52
Venus Williams (AFP)

Melbourne - Venus Williams' 69th Grand Slam came to a premature halt in the first round Tuesday when she was shocked by rising British star Johanna Konta, who was making her Australian Open debut.

The oldest player in the women's draw, whose maiden Australian Open was in 1998, had high hopes coming into the season's first major tournament after a rich vein of form late last year.

It propelled her back into the world top 10 but Williams, 35, was no match for Konta, who raced to a 6-4, 6-2 victory in 79 minutes on Rod Laver Arena for one of the biggest wins of her career.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who won the inaugural WTA Elite Trophy in 2015 as well as tournaments in Auckland and Wuhan, never got her game going.

A quarter-finalist last year, she was broken twice in the opening set in blazing heat as the 24-year-old's Konta's younger legs carried her further than the American veteran.

It didn't get any better in the second set with a despondent Williams, her left thigh heavily strapped, unable to handle the Konta serve or find the shots to hurt an opponent oozing confidence.

Sydney-born Konta, who only became a British citizen in 2012, raced to a 5-0 lead before Williams broke for a consolation game and then held, before her opponent wrapped it up.

Ranked 47th, 98 spots higher than this time last year, Konta has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 12 months.

She upset current world number three Garbine Muguruza at the US Open last year en route to her first round of 16 at a major.

Results from the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Tuesday:

Men

1st rd

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4

Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-2

Milos Raonic (CAN x13) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Joao Sousa (POR x32) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Sam Groth (AUS) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Women

1st rd

Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-4, 7-5

Annika Beck (GER) bt Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-0, 6-3

Timea Bacsinszky (SWI x11) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-3, 7-5

Vania King (USA) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 5-7, 6-2, 7-5

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST) 6-0, 6-4

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x21) bt Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-3, 6-0

Madison Keys (USA x15) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Venus Williams (USA x8) 6-4, 6-2

Read more on:    australian open  |  venus williams  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.