Johanna Konta fades in Italian Open defeat by Jelena Ostapenko

by Theguardian

Briton loses 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to French Open championKonta once again blows lead against a top-10 player

Johanna Konta leaves Rome for Paris mildly encouraged but also maybe concerned after blowing a first-set lead against a top-10 player for the fourth time in a row when the French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, won their engrossing third-round match at the Italian Open on Thursday.

Konta, who has slipped to 22 in the world after an extended spell in the top 10, looked to have put her early-season torpor behind her as she sought to build on decent wins this week over Magdalena Rybarikova and Hsieh Su-wei. However on a mild, overcast morning and coughing from a heavy cold, she found the step up beyond her as the feisty young Latvian ground out a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in front of the packed marble steps on the ridiculously beautiful Court Pietrangeli.

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