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Strycova sends No.7 seed packing in first round

6 January 2020, by

Barbora Strycova’s unbeaten run against Johanna Konta is intact following the Czech’s three-set dismissal of the No.7 seed in the first main draw match of Brisbane International 2020 on Monday.

Twice before the 33-year-old had tormented the Briton – including a quarter-final humiliation at Wimbledon last season.

And on Monday, Strycova maintained that perfect record with a 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory.

Konta double-faulted to hand the Czech a set point at 2-5 in the opening set and sailed a backhand wide to surrender the set after 41 minutes.

After bouncing back to take the second set Konta’s momentum was quickly broken as she fell behind a double break in the decider.

Strycova was broken serving for the match at 5-2 but secured the result a game later after two hours and 15 minutes.

Moments earlier, American Sofia Kenin was the first main draw winner of Brisbane International 2020.

The 21-year-old denied Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 4-6 6-2, backing up her win over the Latvian en route to the title in Mallorca last year.

In final-round qualifying, top seed Yulia Putintseva was too steady for Russian Anastasia Potapova.

The Kazakh world No.34’s variety and court coverage proved prevailed against the 18-year-old in a 6-4 6-3 result. She will face last year’s semi-finalist Donna Vekic in the first round.

American No.4 seed Jennifer Brady ended the run of the last remaining Australian qualifying hope, Storm Sanders.

After securing a tense opening set on her fourth set point, the 24-year-old ran away with the match, 7-6(7) 6-1, and will square off against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in the opening round.

Fifth-seeded Czech Marie Bouzkova ground out a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over No.3 seed Veronika Kudermetova.

The 21-year-old, who beat Samantha Stosur in the opening round last year, will meet No.8 seed Madison Keys for a place in the second round.

Of the three Russians who started the final round of qualifying, only one advanced – 18-year-old Liudmila Samsonova.

A 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over 17-year-old Marta Kostyuk booked a main draw berth and a showdown with 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.