US Open 2018: Johanna Konta loses to Caroline Garcia in first round


British number one Johanna Konta lost in the US Open first round for the second successive year as she was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Caroline Garcia.

Konta, 27, struggled on serve against the French sixth seed at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Her exit means there are no British women left in the singles draw after Heather Watson's defeat on Monday.

It is the first time Konta was unseeded at a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open.

Having fallen to 46th in the world rankings this year, she paid the price for a tough draw.

Konta's slide down the rankings led to a meeting with a player who, as a teenager, was tipped as a future world number one by Britain's Andy Murray.

Garcia has not managed to reach those heights yet but, having spent over a year inside the top 10, she was too good for Konta in her current form.

Konta, who led Garcia 3-2 in their head-to-head going into the match, was feeling positive after earning impressive wins over former Grand Slam winners Serena Williams, Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka on the American hard courts leading up to the US Open.

However, she never looked like causing a problem for the dominant Garcia.

Perhaps Garcia was not the only obstacle for Konta, with a virus forcing her to pull out of the Connecticut Open last week and keeping her bed-ridden for three days.

Despite still sounding bunged up during her pre-tournament interviews on Saturday, she had already started to hit again in New York and insisted she was on the mend and ready to play.

Konta constantly put herself under pressure with a low first-serve percentage, enabling Garcia to dominate and win 48% of Konta's service points.

Garcia broke twice in each set, although missed another six chances as Konta showed some signs of resistance.

She saved a match point with an accurate serve out wide to force deuce in the final game, but that was brief respite as two loose forehands long saw her lose in one hour 15 minutes.

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