- Jo Konta fell to a 6-3, 7-5 defeat by Agnieszka Radwanska in Sydney on Tuesday
- The British No 1 had been hoping to defend the title she won in style last year
- Konta appeared to finish the match in no pain ahead of the Australian Open
- Radwanska admitted ‘the conditions weren’t easy’ after battling into round two
Jo Konta saw her Sydney International title defence swiftly ended as she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round.
A surprising slide in the rankings to 28th meant former world No 2 Radwanska entered this week as an unseeded player, but she showed her quality in a 6-3, 7-5 victory over British hope Konta.
In a repeat of last year’s final match-up, this time fourth seed Konta could not take control of the contest against Poland’s former Wimbledon runner-up.
Jo Konta stretches to make a forehand during her defeat by Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday
Radwanska progressed to the second round of the Sydney International with a 6-3, 7-5 win
Consolation for Konta came with the fact she completed the match without obvious physical problems, five days after being forced to retire from her Brisbane International quarter-final with Elina Svitolina due to injury.
She now heads for Melbourne and the Australian Open, where 12 months ago she reached the quarter-finals, while Radwanska stays in Sydney and faces American teenager CiCi Bellis next.
Radwanska said of her win: ‘I’m just so happy to play such a great match before the Australian Open.
Konta appeared to finish the match with no physical problems ahead of the Australian Open
‘It was a top-10 level match with some ups and downs, breaks along the way. The conditions weren’t easy, but I’m happy to win in two sets.’
Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova won a second-round contest against Russian Elena Vesnina to reach the quarter-finals, coming through a 6-4 6-4 victor, with Czech Barbora Strycova and Australian Samantha Stosur also posting wins on Tuesday.