Australian Open 2018: Johanna Konta to face Bernarda Pera on day four

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Melbourne Park
Johanna Konta serves during her first-round match at the Australian Open
Johanna Konta plays her second-round match at the start of day four at 00:00 GMT
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Britain's Johanna Konta will have to cope with soaring temperatures and an unfamiliar opponent in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The ninth seed will play USA's Bernarda Pera for the first time in the opening match on court two at 00:00 GMT.

The temperature is forecast to hit 39C at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic also feature in the day session, with Roger Federer playing Jan-Lennard Struff in the night session at around 10:00.

Konto, 26, will have to deal with testing conditions as her match is scheduled to get under way at 11:00 local time.

The Sydney-born Briton said after her opening win over Madison Brengle that she "loves the Australian heat", adding: "I think I take it in my stride. I know it's a part of it.

"Everyone who comes here knows that it's going to happen at one point or another.

"I think it's very similar to every other match we prepare for, obviously with more emphasis on hydrating well and making sure I have enough fluids and energy in me."

Pera is ranked 123rd in the world and making her Grand Slam main draw debut as a lucky loser after replacing the injured Margarita Gasparyan.

The 23-year-old beat Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova in the first round.

"I don't really know much about her," said Konta. "I will talk to Michael [Joyce, coach] soon enough."

The day session could well provide some close contests as former champion Sharapova takes on Latvian 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova, the woman who beat her at the US Open four months ago.

Six-time champion Djokovic, playing his first tournament since Wimbledon following an elbow injury, faces Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Top seed Simona Halep will hope to have recovered from a nasty ankle roll in her opening match when she takes on Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the Margaret Court Arena night session at 08:00.

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