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Konta defeats Cirstea in Eastbourne

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Originally published on 28/06/17 00:00

The British No.1 will play French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, in the third round on Thursday.

The match was competitive in the early stages however from 3-2 up in the first set Konta won nine of the remaining 11 games to defeat her erratic opponent. It was a dominant performance from the Brit and she has bounced back well from an early exit in Birmingham last week.

“Sorana is a very dangerous player,” said Konta after her victory. “She has beaten some great players over the years and I knew going into the match that it was going to be tough as she had already had a couple of matches in Eastbourne. I was really happy with the way I was able to maintain my level throughout the match.”

Elsewhere in Eastbourne, top seed, Angelique Kerber, who needs to keep winning to maintain the No.1 ranking, defeated Kristyna Pliskova 4-6 6-1 7-5.

The German struggled to cope with the big-serving Czech in the first set however she played some of her finest tennis of the season to level the match. The decider was tight and tense but a poor service game from Pliskova at 5-5 effectively decided the outcome.

Kerber, playing her first grass-court match since last year’s Wimbledon final, said: “It felt good. The first round matches are always tough and I think it was a good match from both of us. She was serving very well and I was trying to really focus on my return. At the end of the match I was playing point by point and I’m happy to get through.”

There was not such a good result for another former Wimbledon finalist as Barbora Strycova thrashed 2015 runner-up Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-0 in just 61 minutes. There were also wins for Caroline Wozniacki, Shuai Peng, Kristina Mladenovic, Elena Vesnina and Tsvetana Pironkova.

Earlier in the day, second seed, Simona Halep, defeated Duan Yingying 3-6 6-3 6-2.

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