Konta loses but Norrie advances in Rome

May 12, 2021
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    johanna konta and jelena ostapenkoJohanna Konta (right) was beaten in 69 minutes by Jelena Ostapenko

    British number one Johanna Konta was outplayed by Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko in the Italian Open first round but Cameron Norrie won his opener.

    Konta, a French Open semi-finalist in 2019, offered little resistance in a 6-3 6-1 defeat by the 2017 Roland Garros champion.

    Earlier in the day, Norrie beat Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-4 to continue his good form on clay.

    Meanwhile, Andy Murray was a late addition into the doubles draw in Rome.

    The 33-year-old and fellow Briton Liam Broady, 27, were entered as alternates and will open their campaign against Australians Max Purcell and Luke Saville on Wednesday.

    Murray was not competing in the singles but was in Rome to practise against top players, including Novak Djokovic.

    Norrie's good run continues but Konta is out

    British number two Norrie is continuing his good run on the red dirt after reaching the final of the Estoril Open earlier this month, where he missed out on a first ATP title with a three-set defeat by Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

    Norrie, who pulled out of last week's Madrid Masters because of blisters on his foot, has now strung together three wins in a row in Rome having come through two rounds of qualifying before this match against Carballes Baena.

    The 25-year-old Briton raced into a 5-1 lead before losing back-to-back service games to allow the Spaniard back into the set.

    He eventually took the set on his third set point and then once again made life harder for himself than it needed to be in the second set, breaking for a 5-3 lead before immediately losing his serve. He then sealed victory when Carballes Baena sent a forehand long in the next game.

    Norrie will play another Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, for a place in the third round. Victory would give him a last-16 match against world number one Novak Djokovic, who beat Taylor Fritz in a match where the Serb directed a furious outburst at the umpire.

    There was disappointment for 16th seed Konta, though, as she was beaten in 69 minutes by Ostapenko.

    The Briton, who lost in the second round in Madrid earlier this month, made a poor start by dropping her opening two service games and she never recovered in a lacklustre display.

    Doubles gives Murray earlier return

    Murray has not played since early March, having withdrawn from the Miami Open with a groin injury.

    The former world number one is hoping to receive a wildcard to play a tournament in Geneva or Lyon next week.

    He has entered French Open qualifying the following week as he does not know whether he will be offered a wildcard for the clay-court Grand Slam, which starts on 30 May.

    Murray said the French Tennis Federation wants to see him competing before making a decision.

    He has found himself with a chance of some earlier-than-expected match practice after he and Broady made it into the doubles draw in Rome following the withdrawal of Poland's Hubert Hurkacz and Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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