Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Williams suffers worst defeat of career to Konta in San Jose


Eastbourne's Johanna Konta took apart 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams 6-1 6-0 in just 53 minutes at the Silicon Valley Classic on Tuesday night.

It's her first tournament since her straight-set Wimbledon final loss to Angelique Kerber.

She looked nothing like the player that dominated the Tour for decades, winning 72 singles titles and earning more than $86 million in prize money. She missed returns and sprayed her groundstrokes long and wide.

Williams, 36, admitted she was not sharp enough as Konta eased to victory.

She added: "I don't have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn't when I was at my best". She must find the consistency in her not-so-consistent baseline game although a bad day in the office from Williams will definitely help. First major defeats for Serena was misfiring in the games against Simona Halep at the Final tournament 2014 (0:6, 2:6) and against Jonet Kruger at the tournament in Oklahoma in 1998 (1:6, 1:6).

"She obviously wasn't playing anywhere near her best level but I was just trying to play the match on my terms and put aside the incredible champion she is and play the player on the day".

Konta, who bowed out at Wimbledon in the second round last month, was respectful of her fellow former Stanford Classic champion after the win.

Having started the year as the world number nine after ending 2017 on a disappointing five-match losing streak, Konta seemed to have found momentum after starting the new year with an excellent win over Madison Keys at the Brisbane International.

'It's an absolute privilege for me to be on the same court as her, ' said Konta, who was due to play another American, Sofia Kenin, in the second round late last night. She had never won only one game - she won her serve for the initial game on Tuesday then not another. I'm grateful for that opportunity and will work hard. All this match has given me is the chance to play another one.

There was no over-confidence as Konta remained focused on what is to come, she had been training in California ahead of this event in recent weeks and will be hoping that hard work will pay dividends as she progresses this week.

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