Lucky loser Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

Lucky loser Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

British hope Johanna Konta's love affair with the Australian Open came to an abrupt end on Thursday when she was bundled out in the second round by American "lucky loser" Bernarda Pera.

The difference in the Konta who reached the quarter-finals here last season and the last four of Wimbledon was all too clear to see, and she knows the only way to address her issues is to win matches.

She fell 6-4, 7-5 to the 123rd ranked Pera, who is playing her first Australian Open.

Pera had only qualified for the tournament outright after replacing the injured Margarita Gasparyan, but after dispatching Anna Blinkova in the first round, the 23-year-old secured the biggest victory of her career to date when dumping out Konta.

There would be no escape this time as Hsieh guided away a backhand victor on her second match point to claim the biggest singles victory of her 17-year career.

"It's not like I had a bad day", she said.

The Croatia-born American has taken full advantage, deservedly knocking out ninth seed Konta with relentless attacking off her returns and forehand.

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Konta could not cope with the pace and depth coming at her, while her own serve failed to make much impact, and she finished without hitting a single ace.

She was tentative in the first set and while she tightened up early on, Pera was fearless.

Konta's day was summed up with she shanked a smash for the second time in two games to give Pera the win of her life.

An terrible drop shot when she had the court at her mercy allowed Pera to retrieve an early break in the second set and the Wimbledon semi-finalist was in huge trouble when she dropped serve again in the seventh game.

Pera looked comfortable from the off and had Konta on the back foot with the quality of her ball-striking.

Konta was under huge pressure now, battling well to save five break points before Pera made the seemingly decisive breakthrough at 4-3.

She staved off three match points and then broke to level at 5-5, but a desperate service game followed and she would end up flat on her back on the baseline as Pera broke for a fourth time.

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