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Konta fights back to seal victory over Keys in Brisbane

Konta fights back to seal victory over Keys in Brisbane
Johanna Konta claimed her first victory since August

British number one Johanna Konta came from a set down to get 2018 off to a winning start with victory over Madison Keys at the Brisbane International.

Konta, who has not won since August, defeated the American 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Playing her first match under new coach Michael Joyce, the 26-year-old ended a run of five successive defeats since the Cincinnati Open.

But Britain’s number two Heather Watson lost in straight sets to Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.

“It was my first match in quite a while and it was a tough first round,” Konta told BT Sport. “Madison is a great player. She has a big game so when my chances came I had to take them.”

The Briton dropped her serve at 4-5 in the first set but took advantage of a single break of Keys’ serve midway through the second set to level the match.

She then took her opponent’s serve in the opening game of the deciding set and went on to seal the victory comfortably.

Konta, who has not played since October because of a foot injury, named American Joyce as her new coach in December.

Joyce reached a high of 64th in the world as a player, and spent six years as part of Maria Sharapova’s team. He worked with Victoria Azarenka in 2017.

Watson, who had been beaten in qualifying, was given a place in the first round of the tournament as a lucky loser after Petra Kvitova was forced to withdraw with a viral illness.

The 25-year-old, who lost the opening eight games of the match, was defeated 6-0 6-3.

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