Konta faces 'great test' as she, Edmund & Boulter aim for round three

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
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British number one Johanna Konta says she faces a “great test” against former world number four Dominika Cibulkova in the Wimbledon second round on Thursday.

Konta plays the Slovak – who missed out on a seeding to Serena Williams – in the second match on Centre Court.

Kyle Edmund, Britain’s men’s number one, follows on the same court against American qualifier Bradley Klahn.

Briton Katie Boulter meets Naomi Osaka, while world number ones Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep also play.

Twenty four of the 64 seeded players – 12 men and 12 women, including five of the top 10 females – are already out.

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Serena seeding has knock-on effect for Konta

Cibulkova is 32nd in the world rankings but is not seeded for Wimbledon after seven-time champion Williams was made the 25th seed.

“She’s probably one of the best competitors on tour, and has been for quite some time. She’s a feisty player,” said Konta.

“I think it will be a great test for me to keep a good kind of focus on controlling what I can, accept that she’s going to fight her way into some points and really stay there until the very end.”

Konta, 27, also reached fourth in the rankings last year after her memorable run to the Wimbledon semi-finals, but has since struggled for consistency and dropped to 24th.

Cibulkova, who said before the tournament it was “unfair” she was not given a seeding, says she is trying to forget about the controversy.

“It doesn’t make sense to think about it. I just have to play well to keep going in the tournament,” said the 29-year-old.

“Obviously it would be better to play Konta in the third or fourth round so it’s a very tough second-round match.

“I’m feeling fine on the grass. I would say it’s one of her favourite surfaces, but it’s also one of mine so let’s see what happens.”

Edmund could set up Djokovic clash

Edmund, 23, had won only one main-draw match at Wimbledon before beating Australian debutant Alex Bolt in straight sets on Tuesday.

The 21st seed now faces another qualifier in 27-year-old Klahn as he tries to reach the last 32 here for the first time in his career.

And he says there is “no reason” why he cannot start winning more matches on grass.

“When you have a big game or a big serve, you got to use that to your advantage, especially on a grass court,” said the Yorkshireman, who is ranked 17th in the world.

Victory over world number 168 Klahn, who was in the top 100 five years ago before a long-term injury, could set up a third-round meeting for Edmund against three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, who is seeded 12th, plays Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, while Spanish second seed Nadal plays Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.

‘Underdog’ Boulter to enjoy Osaka test

Boulter, 21, earned her first Wimbledon victory by beating Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg on Tuesday, setting up a tough match against Osaka.

They meet in the opening match on Court Two at 11:30 BST.

The 20-year-old Japanese player is ranked 18th in the world – 104 places higher than Boulter – and won her first WTA title at Indian Wells earlier this year.

“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m the underdog,” said Boulter.

Boulter played with fellow Briton Katie Swan in the doubles on Wednesday, hours after 19-year-old Swan lost 6-0 6-3 in her second-round singles match.

Asked what advice she would give her friend, Swan said: “Well, it would help if you don’t lose the first set 6-0. That would be a good start!”

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