Johanna Konta produced a flat display at cloudy Birmingham but it was enough to claim a 3rd Round berth at the Aegon Classic.
The British #1 snatched the opening set but then tuned up her game to defeat Japan’s Misaki Doi 7-6(3) 6-1.
Konta was spared playing another match after her stuttering victory, but rain forced another early abandonment for the third day out of four and prevented compatriot Heather Watson from playing her 2nd Round match at Eddington’s Priory Club.
With the crowds at the grass court tournament seeing almost as much action as they have rain so far this week, Australian Open semi-finalist Konta was a big draw – especially as so many of the major names have been dumped out of the pre-Wimbledon tournament.
But the Eastbourne-based Australian-born ace, who recently became the first British women for decades to reach the world’s top 20, was slow to show off her silky skills.
Konta, who was surprisingly beaten in the early rounds at last week’s Aegon Open in Nottingham, lacked her usual spark and struggling initially with her footwork.
Doi took her chances well and forced a tiebreak, but then Konta cranked up her game much to the delight of the fans and clinched the opening set.
Konta continued this new-found confidence and attacked Doi at every opportunity to brush aside her opponent.
Her reward is a showdown against Belgian veteran Yanina Wickmayer, who defeated former Eastbourne champion and ex-world #1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2 in a topsy turvy marathon match.