It’s wasn’t a particularly good day for Brits at the WTA Premier Mandatory event in Madrid today as Laura Robson, Heather Watson and Johanna Konta all went out of the competition in the first round, with Watson and Robson falling to straight sets defeats and Konta retiring midway through the second set.
Reason for Jo Konta's retirement: Upper respiratory illness.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 1, 2016
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) May 1, 2016
First to go earlier in the day was lucky loser Heather Watson, whose reprieve had seen her drawn against Russian-Australian Daria Gavrilova, whom she had beaten in three sets at the Hopman Cup earlier in the year. However, the Brit failed to convert five games from game point positions, including spurning two set points in the first set, and went down in two narrow sets 7-5 6-4 to the world #39.
Next to go was Johanna Konta, the British Number One, who dropped the first set against France’s Carolina Garcia before retiring at 1-2 down in the second, despite no visible signs of injury. Later reports have suggested that the issue was an upper respiratory illness which was affecting her breathing and stamina.
The Brit with arguably the toughest task today was Laura Robson, who is still very much on the comeback after a lengthy wrist injury absence. However, her match against world #5 Vika Azarenka was perhaps not as one-sided as one might have expected, with Robson picking up six games in a 6-4 6-2 defeat. Azarenka is on red-hot form having won both the Indian Wells and Miami titles, and today’s victory exnteds her winning streak to 15 matches. Robson will be disappointed at only being able to take one out of nine break point chances, but will be encouraged by what was certainly the best match of tennis she has played for a very long time.
The results mean only Andy Murray, who is seeded second at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid, will be in elite action for the remainder of the week.