Konta reaches 3rd round at Wimbledon for 1st time | PostIndependent.com

Konta reaches 3rd round at Wimbledon for 1st time

Chris Lehourites
Associated Press
Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates after winning the Women's Singles Match against Croatia's Donna Vekic on day three at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

LONDON — Britain’s biggest hope for a women’s champion at Wimbledon worked her way into the third round on Wednesday.

Johanna Konta trailed early but managed to come back and hang on for a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8 victory over Donna Vekic on Centre Court.

“It’s a nice feeling not to have to keep going out there,” Konta said. “We were out there a long time and both of us battled incredibly hard.

“Whoever was going to draw the short straw was going to be hurting.”

Konta, seeded sixth, is in the third round at the All England Club for the first time in six appearances. She reached the final at a grass-court warm-up tournament in Birmingham last month, but lost to Vekic.

“I think I overall trusted my game a bit more this time,” said Konta, who is trying to become the first British woman to win the Wimbledon title since Virginia Wade in 1977. “I’m definitely here with the intention of wanting to be a part of the event for the full two weeks.”

Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion who lost in the first round at Wimbledon, is dating Vekic and was at Centre Court watching the match.

On Court 16, Daniil Medvedev expressed his anger after losing his match by throwing some coins at the foot of the chair umpire’s chair.

Medvedev, an unseeded Russian who beat Stan Wawrinka in the first round, lost to Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round.

After the match ended, both players shook hands with chair umpire Mariana Alves. Medvedev then grabbed his wallet and pulled out some coins and tossed them toward the chair.

“In the heat of the moment I did a bad thing and I apologize for this,” said Medvedev, who denied he was implying the chair umpire was paid off. “I was just frustrated. It had no meaning.”

When the Wimbledon gates opened Wednesday morning, the race was on to get the best spot on Mount Murray.

The hill next to No. 1 Court at Wimbledon, formerly known as Henman Hill and also referred to as Murray Mound, was a coveted spot for Day 3 at the All England Club because Konta and Andy Murray were scheduled to play their second-round matches on Centre Court.

Thousands of fans on the grounds and without tickets to the main stadium often gather on the hill to watch the action on a giant TV screen.

The area was named Henman Hill in honor of Tim Henman, another British player but one who never was able to win the title. The nickname shifted to Murray when he came on the scene and eventually ended the country’s 77-year wait for a homegrown men’s winner when he won the title in 2013.

Following Konta’s victory, Murray beat Dustin Brown of Germany 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, followed Murray on Centre Court against Donald Young.

Other women’s winners on Wednesday include five-time champion Venus Williams, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova. For the men, seventh-seeded Marin Cilic, ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori, 12th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 16th-seeded Gilles Muller and 24th-seeded Sam Querrey advanced.

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