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Jo Konta is beaten in three sets by Victoria Azarenka in semi-final

by Howard Runyon (2020-08-31)

A month on from losing her first post-lockdown match to British youngster Jodie Burrage, Jo Konta went toe-to-toe last night with the rejuvenated former world number one Victoria Azarenka.

The GB number one struck the ball with power and purpose, but it was not enough to reach today's relocated Cincinatti Open final.

A late surge from twice Flushing Meadows runner-up Azarenka, her returns as sharp as at her peak, saw her take their semi-final 4-6 6-4 6-1.

There was, however, plenty for Konta to take from this strong pre-US Open showing. On the quick and freshly-laid New York courts she looks in good shape for her clash with national number two Heather Watson in the first round of the coming Grand Slam, one of the tournament's more interesting initial pairings.

Johanna Konta lost to Victoria Azarenka in the Western & Southern Open semi-final


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Her form was certainly a far cry from that when she faced Burrage at the ‘Battle of the Brits' team event.

Watson also featured there, and found it a far more enjoyable week than her fellow British star.

While the tournament was held behind closed doors at Roehampton, stories soon began to emerge that Konta was something of a player apart from the rest of her compatriots.