Johanna Konta has her mojo back.
The No. 43-ranked Brit, coming off a 6-1, 6-0 scrubbing of Serena Williams last week at San Jose, on Tuesday kept her cool to outlast No. 11 Jelena Ostapenko from a set down 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-2 in her opening match at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
“I played myself into the match and tried to be as tough as possible,” Konta said afterwards.
The Brit had eight aces over three sets while Ostapenko struggled with 10 double faults, winning only 37% of her second-serve points.
Konta’s victory moves her into a second round meeting with wildcard and former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who crushed France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 6-1.
“I feel better,” said Azarenka who retired with injury last week in the quarterfinals at San Jose. “It was definitely pretty bad in San Jose to have such a sudden thing with my back. I was hoping it would be nothing serious, but sometimes when you’re in the moment and get a really bad spasm, there’s nothing you can do. I didn’t really practice much after; I’ve only had one practice session this week, so maybe I should practice less!”
Top 10 seeded winners Tuesday in second-round action were No. 6 Caroline Garcia who needed to come from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, No. 8 Petra Kvitova who handled Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4, and No. 10 Julia Goerges who lost the first set to qualifier Lucie Safarova before triumphing 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Seeds winning through in their first-round matches were No. 12 Daria Kasatkina ending Maria Sakkari’s tournament 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, No. 14 Elise Mertens sending out Canadian wildcard Genie Bouchard 6-2, 6-4, and No. 15 Ashleigh Barty edging past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
The No. 12 Kasatkina will next meet former No. 1 Maria Sharapova after the Russian dismantled qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1, 6-2.
“I was aggressive, I served well throughout the match,” Sharapova said after her rain-delayed victory from the previous day. “I think I did everything a little bit better, especially towards the end of the match. I haven’t played in a few weeks. No matter what tournament or who you’re playing against, you have to figure things out as you go. I think I did a good job of that today…maybe the [rain] delay wasn’t exactly in my favor coming out on the court and having to wait for a long time…but that’s not how things work. You have to adjust.”
Spanish qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro joined Konta as an upset-maker on Tuesday, taking down No. 16 seed Naomi Osaka 7-6(2), 6-2.
Suarez Navarro was the qualifying outlier on Tuesday as qualifiers posted a 1-8 win-loss record.
Matches to look for on Wednesday in Montreal include (4) Angie Kerber vs. Alize Cornet, (12) Kasatkina vs. Sharapova in an all-Russian, (1) Simona Halep vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, (5) Elina Svitolina vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu, (WC) Azarenka vs. Konta, and (13) Venus Williams vs. Sorana Cirstea.
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