London: World No. 22 and British No. 1 Johanna Konta was on Thursday sent crashing out of the 132nd Wimbledon Championships, after unseeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova eased to a straight sets victory.
In last year’s edition of the Grand Slam, Konta’s semi-final finish had home fans hoping she could be the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977 to be crowned Wimbledon champion.
Dashing those hopes, however, Cibulkova emphatically saw off the 22nd seeded Konta, registering a 3-6, 4-6 victory in just under an hour and 20 minutes.
Konta credited her opponent for being better on the day, saying that she found it difficult to get settled in the match because of Cibulkova’s dominating display.
“When she’s playing well, I think she goes for her shots. She looks to dictate. When she’s playing well, she plays incredibly freely. She was hitting winners from five meters behind the baseline kind of thing. She was obviously seeing the ball very well and feeling very good in the way she wanted to play. I found it very difficult to really get a foothold into the match. That was a lot to do with how she played,” WTA quoted Konta as saying.
While commenting on her performance from last year, she said, “I don’t compare (my game) with a year ago. I’m in a different place with different challenge. I’m not living in the past.”
The Slovakian adopted an aggressive style of play against the Brit, keeping her on the edge and forcing errors out of her.
Cibulkova got the decisive break in the sixth game of the first set, and with the score at 4-2, Cibulkova saw off the rest of the set without much of a resistance.
She broke through early in the second set, grabbing a 2-1 advantage, and despite a hearty effort from Konta to force a third set towards the end, she stood her ground to enter the second round for an eighth time in eight attempts.
Cibulkova will now play 15th seeded Belgian Elise Mertens, who saw off American Sachia Vickery in straight sets earlier today, on Saturday. (ANI)