Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Johanna Konta

Britain's Heather Watson and Naomi Brady were both knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Luxembourg Open.

 

Twenty-five-year old Watson, the British number two and world number 81, lost 6-4 6-4 to Beligian Elise Mertens.

 

British number three Naomi Broady, 25, was beaten 6-0 5-7 6-1 in her first WTA quarter-final by Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

End of season rankings published today by the WTA on a rather disappointing season:
Johanna Konta 9 (2016 10)
Heather Watson 74 (77)
Naomi Broady 116 (88)
Katie Boulter 199 (368)
Laura Robson 231 (219)

 

Katie Boulter is the youngest of those, she's 21 so she's the only one who can be reasonably happy with her season.

British number one Johanna Konta has confirmed that Michael Joyce will be her new coach.

 

BBC Sport reported in November that talks were ongoing to appoint the 44-year-old American.

 

Joyce reached a high of 64th in the world as a player, and spent six years as part of Maria Sharapova's team. He worked with Victoria Azarenka in 2017.

 

"Michael is a fantastic coach with a great pedigree," said Konta. "I feel like there is so much more to come."

 

Her first tournament with Joyce is set to be the Brisbane International, which starts on 31 December.

 

Sharapova won the US Open and the Australian Open and became world number one while being coached by Joyce.

Johanna Konta had to retire from the Brisbane International during the quarter final with an injury to her right hip. It's unclear as to the extent of the injury but she still intends to defend her Sydney International title next week as part of her preparation of the Australian Open which starts on the 15th.

British number one Johanna Konta was beaten in the first round of the Sydney International, less than a week before the start of the Australian Open.

 

Konta, defending champion in Sydney, lost 6-3 7-5 to Agnieszka Radwanska in a repeat of last year's final.

 

World number nine Konta, 26, had retired from her last tournament in Brisbane because of a hip injury.

 

"I felt I recovered a lot quicker than I anticipated, which is a massively positive thing," she told BBC Sport.

Britain's Heather Watson reached the second round of the Hobart International with a 7-5 6-3 win over Romania's Sorana Cirstea.

 

The 25-year-old, who won the tournament in 2015, edged the first set after number three seed Cirstea repelled eight set points, before making easier work of the second to wrap up victory.

 

The British number two will next face Australian Jaimee Fourlis.

Britain's Heather Watson is through to the quarter-finals of the Hobart International after a 6-2 6-2 win over wildcard Jamiee Fourlis.

 

The 25-year-old, who won the tournament in 2015, took just an hour and 10 minutes to defeat the Australian, 18.

 

Watson, who lost only 13 points on serve in the match, now faces world number 55 Donna Vekic from Croatia.

 

"I felt the match was a lot tougher than the score suggested," said Watson, the British number two.

 

"We had a lot of close games and I think just because I'm feeling really confident I was able to come through a lot of those."

British number two Heather Watson beat world number 55 Donna Vekic to make the semi-finals of the Hobart International in Australia.

 

Watson won 6-0 6-4 to reach her second WTA Tour semi-final since winning the Monterrey Open in March 2016.

 

The world number 74, who won the title in Tasmania in 2015, had a 6-0 5-0 lead but had to dig deep as her Croatian opponent won four games in a row.

 

Watson, 25, will face defending champion Elise Mertens on Friday.

 

The Briton last reached the semi-finals of a tour event at Eastbourne in 2017.

 

"My confidence is very high at the moment," Watson said. "At the beginning of the year, you want a lot of matches and that's definitely what I've gotten the last two weeks.

 

"Every match I play, I feel like I'm getting better and better, tennis-wise and mentally."

Draw made for the Australian Open. Johanna Konta (seeded 9) is against Madison Brengle (ranked 83). Heather Watson against Yulia Putinseva (ranked 52) and if she gets through could be up against Maria Sharapova in the second round. Naomi Broady may be in the main draw if she qualifies. She's won the first of three qualifying rounds.

Britain's Heather Watson missed out on a first WTA final for two years as she lost to Belgian second seed Elise Mertens at the Hobart International.

 

The 25-year-old, who won the title in 2015, went down 6-4 1-6 6-2 to 2017 champion Mertens in the semi-finals.

British number one Johanna Konta made swift progress into the second round of the Australian Open with victory over American Madison Brengle.

 

Konta, seeded ninth, won 6-3 6-1 on Hisense Arena, the third show court at Melbourne Park.

 

The Briton had lost three of their four previous matches but was far too strong for the world number 90 this time.

 

Konta, 26, goes on to face American Bernarda Pera, the world number 123, in round two.

Heather Watson's Australian Open campaign ended with a first-round defeat by world number 54 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

 

The Briton, 25, had a set point to level the match in a tie-break but went down 7-5 7-6 (8-6).

 

Watson, ranked 68th, has now lost her opening match on five of her seven appearances in Melbourne.

British number one Johanna Konta suffered a shock defeat by world number 123 Bernarda Pera in the second round of the Australian Open.

 

The American won 6-4 7-5 to claim only her second win at Grand Slam level.

 

Ninth seed Konta had reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals on her past two visits to Melbourne Park.

 

"It's a bit frustrating but I'm still taking good stuff from this," Konta said. "I don't feel, by any means, it's a massive catastrophe."

 

"I play every event to be there until the end, so I definitely don't want to be going home this early."

The Fed Cup tie takes place this week. Great Britain's opponents are Estonia and Portugal in pool B. The British players are scheduled to be Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter and Anna Smith (doubles). Two singles and one doubles against each country. Those are played from the 7th to 9th. The winners of each pool are in the playoffs on the 10th  - pool A v pool D and pool B v pool C. On paper GB should be the winners of pool B and are slightly higher in the rankings than the top 2 countries in pool C. Heather Watson had an excellent Fed Cup last year at this stage.

GB off to a good start today in the Fed Cup winning all 3 matches against Portugal - as expected as Portugal are the lowest ranked country in pool B.
Heather Watson won the first match 6-4, 6-2, Johanna Konta the second 6-1, 6-0, and the doubles won by Katie Boulter and Anna Smith 6-0, 6-2.

 

Portugal and Estonia have their matches tomorrow and it's GB against Estonia on Friday.

GB matches against Estonia (who are playing at home) are in progress but GB are off to an excellent start. Heather Watson won easily 6-1, 6-1 and Johanna Konta won 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. The doubles match is yet to start but GB have ensured that they are pool winners so progress to tomorrow's play offs. Not clear yet who their opponents will be as the final round of the pool C countries is yet to start.

GB's opponents in the Fed Cup World Group II playoffs in April will be one of Russia (8th) , Ukraine (10th), Canada (14th) or Spain (12th). Figures in brackets are the world rankings prior to the matches of the last week. GB are 18th.

 

The matches will be played either here or in the opponent's country - generally that's done by lot with the country winning choosing the venue. It's the fourth time in the last 7 years that GB has got through to this stage but it's not since 1993 since they played here.

The new world rankings have now been issued for the Fed Cup. The 8 countries in the Wold Group II play-offs are - Russia 8th, Spain 14th, Ukraine 15th, GB 16th, Canada 18th, Paraguay 19th, Japan 20th, and Latvia 22nd.

 

With Canada dropping by 4 places, this means that GB become the 4th seed so can only be drawn against Canada, Paraguay, Japan or Latvia. Latvia would be the hardest opponents (despite the ranking) as Jelena Ostapenko is ranked 6th and Anastasija Sevastova 15th. 

GB drawn away (no surpise there) against Japan in the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs which will take place on 21st and 22nd April.

 

Highest ranking Japanese singles players are Naomi Osaka (50th) and Nao Hibino (90th). They have 5 doubles players with rankings between 29th and 57th.

 

The format for the play-offs are two singles on the Saturday, then doubles and reverse singles on the Sunday,

The Indian Wells tournament starts this week. Johanna Konta gets a bye for the first round. Heather Watson has a tough first round as she's up against Victoria Azarenka (who's in via a wildcard - has been out of action since Wimbledon dealing with a custody case of her baby boy having split from the father, she's now won the custody case). Naomi Broady out in the first qualifying round.

Last weekend Heather Watson and Tatjana Maria of Germany won the women's doubles of the Mexican Open in Apaculpo beating American's Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria 7-5 2-6 10-2 for their first title together. The result has sent Heather's doubles ranking improving by 50 places to 86.

British number one Johanna Konta suffered a shock straight-set defeat by 18-year-old Marketa Vondrousova in the second round at Indian Wells.

 

World number 11 Konta had four set points in the first set and led 4-2 in the second but lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to her 54th-ranked Czech opponent.

Britain's Heather Watson was knocked out of the Miami Open in the first round with a straight-set defeat by Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Haddad Maia, ranked 64th in the world, won 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 and will play Zhang Shuai in the second round.

It is Watson's sixth consecutive loss since reaching the semi-finals of the Hobart International in January.

The 25-year-old lost to Victoria Azarenka in the first round at Indian Wells earlier this month.

Watson, ranked 72nd, served for the opening set at 5-4 but fell a set down after Haddad Maia raced through the tie-break.

Following an early break, the South American controlled proceedings in the second set to seal victory.

 

Defending champion and British number one Johanna Konta has a bye to the second round.

Britain's Johanna Konta began her Miami Open title defence with a second-round win over Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens.

Konta, ranked 14th in the world, registered a 6-4 6-3 victory over the world number 71 in 84 minutes.

The 11th seed, who had a bye in round one, looked composed as she hit eight aces and 27 winners to set up a match against Elise Mertens after the Belgian defeated Bernarda Pera 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

British number one Johanna Konta moved into the Miami Open fourth round with a dominant win over Elise Mertens.

 

Defending champion Konta, ranked 14th in the world, secured a 6-2 6-1 victory over the Belgian world number 21 in 65 minutes.

 

The 11th seed will next face 37-year-old Venus Williams, the world number eight.

 

American Williams defeated 26-year-old Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, after saving three match points.

 

Konta was helped in the first set by Mertens registering six double faults - including four in one game - and she played an almost perfect match as she swept into the last 16.

 

"I tried to take my game to her and managed to do that for big pockets of time, but it's never easy to come through so I'm really happy," Konta said.

 

"I definitely have a great relationship with this tournament, the biggest title of my career has come here. Hopefully I can get to the end again."

British number one Johanna Konta has been knocked out of the Miami Open in the fourth round by three-time champion Venus Williams.

 

Defending champion Konta, ranked 14th in the world, won the first set but eventually lost 5-7 6-1 6-2.

 

The 26-year-old had beaten world number eight Williams in straight sets in the semi-finals 12 months ago.

 

The result will knock her out of the top 20 in the next set of rankings.

 

Johanna Konta will lead Great Britain's Fed Cup team when they play Japan in the World Group II play-offs on 21-22 April.

Wimbledon semi-finalist and British number one Konta, 26, and Heather Watson, 25, will be the singles players for the tie on hard courts at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki, Japan.

Doubles specialist Anna Smith, 29, and debutant Gabi Taylor, 20, also feature.

 

Britain have not played in the World Group since 1993.

A win would secure their place in World Group II in 2019 but a loss would mean they return to the Europe/Africa Zone next year.

 

Konta and Watson won singles matches as Britain beat Hungary 2-0 in February to reach the play-offs.

After the win over Hungary, British captain Anne Keothavong said: "It's been a great effort to get out of this zone and I don't want to be back here next year."

Britain lost 3-2 in Romania in the World Group II play-offs in 2017.

They were also beaten at the same stage in Argentina in 2013 and in Sweden in 2012.

Keothavong said: "I am delighted to name our strongest possible team. We have been so close since 2012 and hopefully the fourth will be a charm."

 

Konta has slipped from ninth in the world rankings at the start of the year to 23rd, while Watson, ranked 77th, is on a run of seven straight losses and has not won a match since January.

Taylor has won three lower-tier titles this year to climb from 323 to 175 in the rankings.

 
 

The Japanese team for the Fed Cup matches are:
Naomi Osaka (singles ranking 22, doubles ranking 902)
Kurumi Nara (s 100, d 444)
Miyu Kato (s 137, d 55)
and Makoto Ninomiya (s 612, d 40)
I assume that the first two will be the singles players and the last two the doubles players.

 

Looking at the rankings for the British team, Johanna Konta will be a singles player, Heather Watson could be both singles and doubles, Gabriella Taylor if she plays more likely to be singles than doubles, and Anna Smith a cert for doubles.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×
×