MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 15:22:02| >> :600:65505919:65505919:

Result: Johanna Konta stages comeback to oust Sloane Stephens at Italian Open

Result: Johanna Konta stages comeback to oust Sloane Stephens at Italian Open
© Reuters
Konta will play Venus Williams in the third round later on Thursday.

Johanna Konta produced arguably the best win of her career on clay by beating French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Italian Open in Rome.

The British number one lost the opening set having held a 4-0 lead but recovered impressively, showing the significant improvements she has made on the surface to win 6-7 (3) 6-4 6-1.

Konta's only previous victory over a top-10 player on clay came against Roberta Vinci at the same venue three years ago.

Wednesday's wash-out means Konta must return to the court later on Thursday to take on Venus Williams, who was given a walkover when her sister Serena withdrew on Tuesday.

Konta has had by far her best season on clay, reaching the final in Rabat earlier this month and looking comfortable on the surface in a way she has not in the past.

Although she won all of the first four games, they were not easy for Konta and, as she began to make more errors, the tide turned, with Stephens winning six of the next seven games.

Konta broke back to force a tie-break but it was Stephens who was the more solid.

View this post on Instagram

Ciao Roma 👋🇮🇹

A post shared by Johanna Konta (@johannakonta) on

The second set was nip and tuck, with former US Open champion Stephens recovering an early break, but Konta forged ahead again to lead 5-4 and served it out to level the match.

Stephens had smashed her racket on the court in the opening set and thought about doing it again when Konta broke in the third game of the decider, and the American grew increasingly wayward as her opponent finished the match on a run of six games in a row.

Konta, whose only other top-10 win this season came against Stephens in Brisbane, will now try to reach the quarter-finals in the Italian capital for the first time having fallen in the third round for the last three years.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9cfa4619-2ba0-4427-bdb4-53f01e620baf');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:uk');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:tennis');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + + location.hash), 'title': 'Johanna Konta fights back to see off Sloane Stephens at Italian Open'});

ID:359432: cacheID:359432:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:11891:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Maria Sharapova in action at the Aussie Open on January 18, 2018
Read Next:
Sharapova out of French Open with shoulder injury

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 Groups header
1 Italy Italy11003033
2 Switzerland Switzerland10101101
3 Wales flag Wales10101101
4 Turkey Turkey100103-30
Euro 2020 fixtures
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!