Johanna Konta crashes out to world number 123 Bernarda Pera in Australian Open second round
Britain’s Johanna Konta crashed out to world number 123 Bernarda Pera in the second round of the Australian Open, with the American winning 6-4 7-5.
In the blazing Melbourne heat, lucky loser Pera showed her cool against the ninth seed, breaking the Briton four times to set up a third-round clash against 20th seed Barbora Strycova, in what is her maiden Grand Slam.
Speaking after the defeat, Konta said: "It's a bit frustrating but I'm still taking good stuff from this.
"I don't feel, by any means, it's a massive catastrophe."
Pera had only qualified for the tournament outright after replacing the injured Margarita Gasparyan, but after dispatching Anna Blinkova in the first round, the 23-year-old secured the biggest victory of her career to date when dumping out Konta.
In the duo’s first ever meeting, Konta’s serve was tested immediately, and though she saved a break point in the opening game, Pera went on to break in the ninth before sealing the set 6-4.
The pendulum swung both ways in the second set, with Pera battling from 2-0 down to find herself 5-3 up.
Konta then saved three match points on her own serve before holding, and went on to prolong the encounter when breaking Pera to make it 5-5.
However, Pera broke back immediately, and made no mistake when serving for the match on the second occasion.
Konta fell over twice during the match and said afterwards: "I do think I was a little uncoordinated today.
"I don't think I've fallen over on my own two feet since I was going through growth spurts."
Pera will play Barbora Strycova in the third round.