Britain's Johanna Konta provided something of a surprise in the first round at the WTA Aegon Nottingham Open tennis championships. The 24-year-old knocked out the seventh seed, Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets. There was not such good news for her compatriot in the women's singles, Katy Dunne, who lost to the Belarusian Olga Govortsova.
Konta hoping to climb the rankings
With this year's Wimbledon Championships fast approaching, many of the top female #Tennis players are taking the opportunity to hone their skills at the Nottingham Open. The Australian-born Konta who now represents Britain is not quite among the elite players in the game, having slipped back to the world ranking of 147 in the latest WTA list (she was as high as 89 last summer). However she is the current British number two player behind Heather Watson and has the capability to battle back into the top 100 again with some solid results.
Against the Slovakian Rybarikova, ranked 59th in the world, she ably demonstrated her capabilities with an encouraging and relatively untroubled 6-3 6-3 victory to advance into round two.
Too strong for Dunne
Twenty-year-old Dunne did not have such good fortune, being convincingly beaten 6-1 6-2 by Govortsova. The result, while disappointing for the Hemel Hempstead-born player, was perhaps expected given her ranking just inside the top 300. Govortsova is a dangerous opponent, having ranked inside the top forty in her earlier career.
Mixed fortunes for top seeds
The top seeds in Nottingham have similarly experienced mixed fortunes so far. The top seed and favourite for the title, Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland had few problems in overcoming Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva with a 6-0 6-3 victory. The former finalist at Wimbledon (in 2012) will be looking for a long run both in this week's event and also at the Grand Slam event to follow.
She could well be challenged for the Nottingham title by the second seed, Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, who came through her first round match unscathed as well. In a tight encounter, she finally got the better of the former French Open winner, Italy's Francesca Schiavone 7-6 7-6.
The number three and four seeds are both already out of the event though. America's Varvara Lepchenko and Karin Knapp of Italy both lost their first round matches.