Konta races through to round three

Johanna Konta

Konta trained at Melbourne Park as a junior while growing up in Australia

British number one Johanna Konta reached the third round of the Australian Open with an impressive win over China’s Zheng Saisai in Melbourne.

Konta, ranked 36 places higher at 47 in the world, won 6-2 6-3 and will next face German 30th seed Sabine Lisicki or Czech Denisa Allertova.

The Sydney-born Briton had never won a match in the main draw at the Australian Open before this year.

Britain’s Andy Murray plays Australian Sam Groth later on Thursday.

Konta keeps up the momentum

The Eastbourne-based 24-year-old made a huge breakthrough at the US Open in September by reaching the fourth round, and she has continued that Grand Slam form at Melbourne Park.

Konta upset world number 10 Venus Williams in the opening round on Tuesday and backed up that fine win with a solid performance against Zheng.

The pair were meeting for the second time, with Konta having won in French Open qualifying two years ago, and she moved 3-1 ahead thanks to some aggressive returning.

Zheng pressed hard but could not convert a handful of break points and dropped serve once again as Konta took the first set in 37 minutes.

Some wayward volleying saw Konta fail to capitalise on two early chances in the second set, but the relentless pressure of her groundstrokes told two games later as she again broke for 3-1.

The world number 47 finally dropped serve, to love, while serving for the match at 5-1 before wrapping up victory after one hour and 22 minutes.

“There were definitely some nerves at the end,” said Konta.

“I was very happy I was able to keep it together, there’s so much tension out there. I’m just happy I was able to deal with it the best I could and come through.”

Zheng is China’s highest-ranked woman at 83 in the world

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