By Derren Howard
Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta ‘stayed tough’ as she advanced to the Wimbledon second round as she beat Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva in two tough sets on court two.
Konta, a semi-finalist last year, broke in the 11th game of the first set and went ahead early second before being pegged back in a 7-5 7-6 (9-7) win.
Konta seeded 22nd this year, needed six match points to beat the hard hitting and impressive 21-year-old.
Konta, 26, faces Alize Cornet or Dominica Cibulkova in round two.
“First rounds are always tricky,” said Konta. “The conditions were tricky, breezy and gusty, it didn’t make it easy.
“For me at Wimbledon there are some nerves but I enjoyed every second and was going to make sure I fought very hard every point.
“I didn’t do too much wrong, there are always things I would like to do better but I have to acknowledge when she plays good points. I kept the attention on my side and tried to keep the intention of play I wanted.
“I am playing this championships independent of what happened last year. I am a littler wiser this year, working hard to be here for a full two weeks.
“I stayed very tough out there. It wasn’t easy, but I stayed my own biggest fan. I need to keep feeding myself good thoughts.”