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GUARDIAN TENNIS: Ashleigh Barty offers stark contrast with Johanna Konta and eyes No 1 spot

GUARDIAN TENNIS: Ashleigh Barty offers stark contrast with Johanna Konta and eyes No 1 spot

• French Open champion looks forward to grass season
• Barty highlights progress for Australia’s indigenous youth

Johanna Konta’s “acceptance” fatalism got her to the semi-finals of the French Open, her third journey that far in a slam event. Ashleigh Barty’s uncomplicated realism helped her win her breakthrough major and, if they meet at Wimbledon next month, their clash of philosophies will inform the course of the championship.

The British No 1 left Paris with five wins and a loss, butchering set point with an ill-judged drive volley (that she then packed away for the rest of the semi-final) to let Marketa Vondrousova escape from 5-3 down in the semi-finals on Friday and advance to Saturday’s decider where the Czech teenager’s composure evaporated in the face of Barty’s fearless and intelligent shot-making.

Related: Ashleigh Barty: a humble and hugely popular grand slam champion | Simon Cambers

Related: ‘A joy to watch’: Ashleigh Barty French Open success sparks flood of support

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 15:21:29 GMT

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GUARDIAN TENNIS: Johanna Konta faces meeting of minds with Viktoria Kuzmova in French Open

GUARDIAN TENNIS: Johanna Konta faces meeting of minds with Viktoria Kuzmova in French Open

• Briton’s opponent reads Shakespeare in her spare time
• Naomi Osaka survives scare against Victoria Azarenka

If Johanna Konta is to continue her new-found love affair with the clay of Roland Garros, she will have to outsmart an opponent who is studying for a degree in international relations and diplomacy, and reads Hamlet in her spare time – in Slovakian.

“I’ve always loved law and philosophy,” says Viktoria Kuzmova, who moved into the third round of the French Open when the fourth seed Kiki Bertens quit through illness while trailing 1-3 in their match on Wednesday. Konta, who had to battle past the stubborn American Lauren Davis in three sets, has vague memories of hitting last year with Kuzmova, who is ranked 46 in the world, but will get to know her a lot better on Friday.

Related: Johanna Konta gets past Lauren Davis after seesaw French Open battle

Related: French Open 2019: Halep and Del Potro made to work in victories

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Thu, 30 May 2019 18:40:46 GMT

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GUARDIAN TENNIS: Johanna Konta gets past Lauren Davis after seesaw French Open battle

GUARDIAN TENNIS: Johanna Konta gets past Lauren Davis after seesaw French Open battle

• British No 1 wins 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
• Konta will face Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova next

Johanna Konta soared, dipped and soared again to defeat Lauren Davis in three sets on her way to reaching the third round of the French Open, where she might have expected to meet the world No 4, Kiki Bertens, for the second time in a fortnight, but instead will play the young Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova for the first time.

Davis, heavily strapped above and below her left knee, gave Konta a stern argument mid-match and in the third set before the British No 1 won 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the Bullring, the perfect setting for such a tough struggle.

Related: French Open 2019: Konta wins, Federer and Nadal ease through – as it happened

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Wed, 29 May 2019 19:05:57 GMT

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GUARDIAN TENNIS: Serena Williams survives first-round scare to progress in French Open

GUARDIAN TENNIS: Serena Williams survives first-round scare to progress in French Open

• Williams: ‘I just had to hang in there’
• Johanna Konta breaks hoodoo with first-round victory

Serena Williams survived a briefly wretched opening to the French Open and, despite recovering well to trounce the world No 83, Vitalia Diatchenko, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, she is yet to convince her peers and rivals she can last a tournament, let alone rediscover the magic that lifted her to 23 grand slam titles.

She is not exactly a sitting target and she will play better than this but the Serena of old, the three-times champion of Paris, is a memory at the moment. She needs one more major to match the all-time record of Margaret Court. It is an assignment that grows more difficult with each passing month.

Related: French Open 2019, day two: Konta wins, Wozniacki in trouble – live!

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Mon, 27 May 2019 18:51:02 GMT

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GUARDIAN TENNIS: French Open: Johanna Konta puts faith in good feeling to banish past failings

GUARDIAN TENNIS: French Open: Johanna Konta puts faith in good feeling to banish past failings

• ‘I’m trusting myself right now because of good wins’
• Konta faces Antonia Lottner in fifth bid to make second round

The facts are incontrovertible: Johanna Konta goes into the first round of the French Open tomorrow on Monday against the world No 149 Antonia Lottner aware that she has failed to reach the second round here four times in a row. But, as Britain’s sole representative in the women’s draw pointed out, the game is about more than just facts. It is about feelings.

“You guys will always have an opinion, or ask questions to get an opinion,” the world No 26 told reporters. “That’s just part of our relationship, isn’t it? And you were also basing [opinions] on fact. Factually I didn’t have successful periods on clay in the last couple of years. So, you can only really base things on facts – and I can only speak on how I’ve felt on the surface and how I feel on the surface now. Actually I don’t feel much different.

Related: For the unsinkable Serena Williams, the last step is proving the hardest

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Sat, 25 May 2019 14:29:26 GMT

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GUARDIAN TENNIS: Katie Boulter makes clumsy, belated withdrawal from French Open

GUARDIAN TENNIS: Katie Boulter makes clumsy, belated withdrawal from French Open

• British No 3 misses Roland Garros with back injury
• Boulter left name in draw, then pulled out next day

Katie Boulter sent a ripple of bemusement through Roland Garros on Friday without hitting a ball, when she revealed the day after leaving her name in the draw that she was withdrawing from the tournament to rest her injured back.

The British No 3 and world No 112 will collect about £20,000 – half the first-round prize money – even though she indicated nearly three weeks ago that the injury she exacerbated in helping Great Britain beat Kazakhstan in the Federation Cup in London last month was not healing quickly enough for her to be fit for the French Open.

Related: French Open women’s form guide: the players to watch at Roland Garros | Jacob Steinberg

Related: French Open men’s form guide: the players to watch at Roland Garros | Jacob Steinberg

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Fri, 24 May 2019 17:02:04 GMT

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