British No 1 Johanna Konta beats Kim Clijsters to earn first win of 2020 as Heather Watson exits Monterrey Open

Johanna Konta has booked herself a spot in the second round (PA Images)
Johanna Konta has booked herself a spot in the second round (PA Images)
10:31am, Wed 04 Mar 2020
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British No 1 Johanna Konta has earned her first win in six months after she beat Kim Clijsters in the first round of the Monterrey Open.

The 28 year-old rose to the occasion after she won 6-3 7-5 against the four-time Grand Slam winner. 

Konta, the world No 16, had previously lost all three of her singles matches this year. 

She failed to convert two early break points but managed to sweep a forehand winner off Clijsters' serve to win the first set.

The second set was much tighter as both players held their serves throughout. But it was the Brit who claimed overall victory after an unforced error from the Belgian.

Clijster played in what was her second match since retiring after the US Open in 2012. She returned to the court at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month but suffered defeat at the hands of Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

Konta said afterwards: "I feel truly privileged and honoured to share the court with such a champion. It's nice to have her back.

"As a young player, I never thought I'd get to play Kim Clijsters in my career."

She has been managing an ongoing knee injury and spent several months out of the game after losing in the quarter-finals at the US Open last year. 

Clijsters added: "I've been through different generations and played many players throughout my whole career. I'm still at a stage where I want to focus on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, and also start reading my opponents."

Konta will next face Tatjana Maria in the second round, who earlier beat Brit Heather Watson to end her bid for back-to-back titles. 

The British No 2 had come off the back of her first WTA title win in four years after she won the Mexican Open on Saturday. 

She was boosted to No 49 in the rankings which was her highest position since 2015. But Germany's Maria and world No 91 beat her 7-6 (4) 3-6 7-5.

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