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KONTA CONQUERS SASNOVICH TO BEGIN MIAMI QUEST

World No. 11 Johanna Konta was pushed to the brink by qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich In her Miami opener, but survived in three sets.

MIAMI, FL, USA -- She reached the quarterfinals in her Miami Open debut a year ago, and Johanna Konta's 2017 tournament is off to a winning start after the No.10 seed survived a game effort by Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the second round on Friday night.

"I'm definitely satisfied with how I came back in the third set and just competed," Konta said after the match. "Basically just did the best that I could with what I had. It was very difficult conditions -- not just the wind, but also the rain, quite a little bit of stop and start. It was about managing your expectations for any sort of level for the match but also any sort of frustrations that would arise because of the conditions -- just keeping things in good perspective, fighting and competing. She played quite well, and I really had to fight hard and work for it in the end."

Konta cruised in the 33-minute opener, winning four straight games from 2-2 to take a one-set lead. The Brit surrendered just seven points on serve in the first set, while winning 50 percent of the points on Sasnovich's delivery. She remained in command for much of the early going in the second, building a 6-2, 4-2 lead, but Sasnovich got a foothold in the match with a key break of serve in the seventh game -- her first of the match.

From there, the set went with serve until the tie-break, with Konta forced to save break points at 4-4 as Sasnovich looked to win a third straight game, before the qualifier found her forehand late, striking several winners to earn herself a deciding set.

 

 

After the pair traded breaks to begin the final set, a second break in the fifth game keyed the victory for Konta, as she held serve the rest of the way to emerge victorious in the two hour, 39 minute encounter.

 

 

Also through on Day 4 was Madison Keys, who surrendered just three games en route to dispatching Viktorija Golubic, 6-1, 6-2 in 67 minutes. Dropping serve just once, the No.8 seed broke five times to sail through to the third round.

"The key today was definitely staying calm, because the conditions were not great," Keys told WTA Insider after the match. "[I was] staying focused on playing my game, having good serves, kind of just focusing on what I could control."

 

 

Keys, who began her 2017 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells following a lay-off from wrist surgery, reached the fourth round in her first tournament back, and feels as though it hasn't taken her very long to get back in the swing of competitive tennis.

"I feel pretty good," Keys said. "There's obviously still some points where it's more the mental, where it's, 'That was a bad decision' -- that's where I feel like I'm still not 100 percent happy with myself all of the time. That's one thing the one thing that I really want to look to improve on."

Keys will next face Spain's Lara Arruabarrena, who defeated No.28 seed Irina-Camelia Begu in three sets, but Patricia Maria Tig and Sorana Cirstea made it three Romanians in the third round behind a pair of second-round upsets of their own.

Tig recorded her first win against a top 20 player in defeating Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6(5), 6-2, while Cirstea was victorious in the conclusion of a rain-delayed match against No.19 seed Anastasija Sevastova, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.

Tig also led a trio of qualifiers to advance to the third round, as Anett Kontaveit scored an upset over No.32 seed Ekaterina Makarova, 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2 and American Taylor Townsend handled No.25 seed Roberta Vinci, 6-3, 6-2.

Get on the Road to Singapore to see who are amongst the top 8 in the first Leaderboard update!

This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.




 

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