Birmingham Classic: Johanna Konta beaten by Petra Kvitova

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta hit only seven winners

British number one Johanna Konta lost 6-3 6-4 to defending champion Petra Kvitova in the first round of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

Konta, who had an argument with the umpire in losing Sunday's Nottingham Open final, served seven double faults.

Czech Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, will play Daria Gavrilova in the second round.

British number two Heather Watson also lost, beaten 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 by Ukraine's world number 37 Lesia Tsurenko.

Konta will continue her Wimbledon preparations at Eastbourne next week after her early exit here.

Not one game was won to love as both players struggled for rhythm on their serves although Kvitova did smash five aces.

Kvitova broke Konta's first service game but the Briton hit back before the Czech broke again in the sixth game and won the first set 6-3.

Konta improved her first serve percentage in the second set but could only hit seven clean winners in the match, compared to the world number eight's 26.

"I think for 90 % of the match I was shoulder to shoulder with her, which was a very positive thing for me," said Konta.

"That 10 per cent is what I'm working on right now to be able to do just that bit better and to come through in some of those close moments."

Heather Watson
Watson has won only three tour-level matches since January

World number 86 Watson could drop out of the top 100 if she cannot improve her results over the coming weeks.

"I don't want to be too negative about it because I was really pleased with my fighting spirit, especially with the way I served," said Watson.

"As long as I keep my head screwed on like it is, then the results will take care of themselves."

Wimbledon champion and top seed Garbine Muguruza had no trouble easing into the second round with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova while second seed Elina Svitolina was a 6-1 3-6 6-1 winner against Donna Vekic.

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