Johanna Konta has thanked her supporters for understanding ‘what process and growth is’ after she was edged out of the Dubai Championship in a marathon second-round encounter with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
The British No 1 has only reached one quarter-final since the Cincinnati Open in August and admitted her opponent appeared to be faring significantly better by the end of play on Wednesday.
Kasatkina, 20, won four straight games in the final set, sealing her 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory with a winner that just clipped the baseline.
Jo Konta had two match points to beat Daria Kasatkina in straight sets but lost 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
Konta, 26, who has three singles titles to her name, remained upbeat following the loss, insisting that she did ‘a lot of good things’ during the match that lasted more than three hours.
Speaking at a post-game press conference, she said: ‘It would have been nice to have taken one of the match points, however that’s part of the game. I can really look back at this match… take the good things, because I did do a lot of good things, and learn from the things I can try to do better.’
The world No 12 denied the game quickly ran away from her, adding: ‘I fought the best that I could in that third set. Not to lie, I don’t feel amazing, at one point I was laughing, I did think we were playing two separate matches because she looked fresh as a daisy.
‘So that was not a great feeling, but I did the best that I could today.’
Twenty-year-old Kasatkina celebrated her win, which came inside three hours, with a fist pump
Konta spurned two match points as her run of bad form on the tennis court continued
Konta later tweeted: ‘Thank you to all the people out there who continue to support me, understand what process and growth is, and how it looks in reality. #keepworking’
Konta suffered a dramatic slump during the second half of 2017 but said she was feeling positive ahead of the Australian Open in January.
She suffered a shock exit in the second round to Bernarda Pera, ranked 105th, but was sanguine but the loss, saying it was not a ‘massive catastrophe’.
When the two met again in at the Qatar Total Open earlier in February Konta exacted quick revenge on Pera, but was then knocked out by Angelique Keber in a final 16 game.
Konta reached a high of fourth in the rankings after her stunning run to the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, but won only two more matches in 2017.