Mount Murray is a coveted spot on Day 3 at Wimbledon


Mount Murray is a coveted spot on Day 3 at Wimbledon

At 5ft 7in, Hsieh often finds her opponents towering over her, putting the 31-year-old at an obvious disadvantage.

Now she took on Donna Vekic, a woman who scored her first back-to-back main-tour wins in nearly two years to win the Nottingham title a fortnight ago, and a week before she turned 21.

The match was this year's longest at Wimbledon in the women's singles by a full 25 minutes, and if statistics can ever capture the drama of such a tight match, the fact that Konta faced seven break points and successfully defended four, and Vekic saved 12 of 15 against her, tell a pretty good story.

"I think I played really clean from the baseline today", Azarenka said afterwards. Wins in qualification for tour events resulted in early main draw exits and her start to the grass court season could not have been more inauspicious as she fell in the first round of the lower-tiers ITF event in Surbiton, before flying back to Paris to watch Stan Wawrinka in the Roland Garros final.

Which Vekic, then, would turn up for her first appearance on Centre Court?

It was quite unusual coming on court soon after a horrific fall while playing her semifinal with Angelique Kerber.

Konta edged a marathon contest on Centre Court that lasted three hours and 10 minutes and included an nerve-shredding 18-game deciding set.

Konta sustained the injury in a heavy fall during her victory over World No.1 Angelique Kerber on the south coast last week, smacking her head off the grass court with such ferocity in the process that she also required to be checked and cleared for concussion protocols.

And these days, she relishes the big challenges. "It came back positive, so that has given me that much more confidence to search for and make some more creations".

'It's not realistic for me to look far ahead in terms of what is something that helps me, and that's to stay present very much in the moment, very much into each match at a time.

"In that final set they both had love-30s, they were both looking for break opportunities".

Although it never reached the stage where the nation was crying out for a healing intervention from Uri Geller, it should not be forgotten that it is less than a week since the sight of Johanna Konta sobbing on the turf in Eastbourne sparked serious concern that her Wimbledon hopes were over before she had even arrived in south-west London. And once again, it was the Briton's destructive forehand that got its reward. It was the lively Vekic who broke her first to go 5-3 up.

Using her superior size and power, she doubled the break and served out the first set in quick time, perhaps taking her opponent a little by surprise. Konta took the first set, Vekic the second before the home favourite eventually edged over the line 10-8 in the third.



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