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Konta hires Zavialoff as new coach

British number one Johanna Konta has hired Dimitri Zavialoff as her new coach. Credit: PA

British number one Johanna Konta has hired Dimitri Zavialoff as her new coach.

The Frenchman, who was the first coach of three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, teams up full-time with the 27-year-old following a successful trial partnership.

Konta is currently ranked number 39 in the world, the British player having reached a high of number four during July 2017.

Konta defeats Mertens in Kremlin Cup

Credit: PA

Johanna Konta made an excellent first impression for prospective coach Dimitri Zavialoff by defeating Elise Mertens in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

The British number one split from Michael Joyce last week after a disappointing first season together and is working with Frenchman Zavialoff, long-time coach of Stan Wawrinka, on a trial basis at her final tournament of the season.

Konta has looked low on confidence for much of 2018, with her ranking tumbling to 44, but this performance was reminiscent of the top-10 player she was for the past two seasons as she saw off seventh seed Mertens 6-3 7-5.

The victory was only Konta's fifth over a top-20 opponent all season and was all the more impressive given the high-quality nature of the contest.

The British number one was particularly effective on Mertens' second serve, winning 20 of 29 points overall and breaking the Belgian, who hit nine aces, four times.

Konta only faced two break points herself and one of the most encouraging aspects of the match was the way she withstood pressure after getting an early break in the opening set and then again in the second.

Mertens' only success on Konta's serve came in the opening game of the second set but the British player recovered the break to make it 4-4 and then broke again in the final game.

She will face either Australian Daria Gavrilova or lucky loser Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round.

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British number one Konta splits with coach Joyce

Johanna Konta has split with her coach Michael Joyce after less than a year together. Credit: PA

Johanna Konta has split with her coach Michael Joyce after less than a year together.

The British number one's representatives have confirmed to Press Association Sport that Konta has parted with American Joyce.

Konta will now begin the search for a new coach - her fourth in three years - in time for the new season.

In 2016 Konta split with Esteban Carril and at the end of last season her association with Wim Fissette also came to an end.

Konta's ranking has slipped this season - she is now down to 45 having been as high as four in the world following her run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year.

It has been a tough season, at least in the grand slam events, with first-round losses at the US and French Opens and second-round exits at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

The 27-year-old did, however, hand Serena Williams the biggest defeat of her career, 6-1 6-0, at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose in August.

Joyce, 45, had previously been Maria Sharapova's coach for seven years.

Konta beats Ostapenko to progress in Rogers Cup

British number one Johanna Konta, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all progressed on day two of the Rogers Cup. Credit: PA

British number one Johanna Konta, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all progressed on day two of the Rogers Cup.

Konta battled back from a set down to move to the second round in Montreal with a 6-7 (6/8) 6-1 6-2 victory over Jelena Ostapenko.

The world number 43 began with plenty of promise, breaking her Latvian opponent twice to race into a 3-0 lead in just nine minutes, but Ostapenko battled back and edged the tie-break.

The next set followed a similar pattern to the first with Konta again winning the opening three games.

Ostapenko was unable to mount a fightback and the British player's dominance continued in the final set, securing three breaks before successfully serving for the match to complete an impressive comeback.

Konta will play Azarenka in the second round after the Belorussian routed Kristina Mladenovic 6-0 6-1.

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Konta beats Vekic to reach Nature Valley Open final

Johanna Konta overcame a rain delay to secure her place in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham Credit: PA

Johanna Konta overcame a rain delay to secure her place in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham for the second successive year with a 6-2 6-3 victory against Donna Vekic.

In the second match on court, the British number one breezed through the opening set in half-an-hour before, with Vekic having called for the trainer and looking ready to go for further treatment, the players were forced off by rain.

After around an hour delay, Konta, who had been defeated by Vekic in the 2017 final, regained her composure to move 3-1 ahead.

However, the 21-year-old Croatian recovered to break back and level at 3-3.

World number 22 Konta, though, immediately regained the momentum against Vekic's serve before a hold put her within sight of the final, and she then broke again on a first match-chance.

Top-seed Ashleigh Barty awaits in Sunday's final after the Australian beat Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3 6-4.

Konta beats Nara to level Fed Cup tie

Konta was never behind in her opening match in the Bourbon Beans Dome which saw her take a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over Nara. Credit: PA

Konta was never behind in her opening match in the Bourbon Beans Dome which saw her take a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over Nara.

The British number one got off to a flying start and broke her opponent's serve in the opening game, only to be forced to save three break points herself before holding to take a 2-0 lead.

Konta needed a second serve ace to hold in game four for a 3-1 lead, before having to work hard again to win game eight and take a 5-3 lead, forcing Nara to serve to stay in the first set.

Nara was able to do that but Konta came through when she finally took the next game on a fourth set point to win the opener 6-4 when Nara hit a forehand wide.

Nara made a slow start to the second set as she suffered her second service break of the match in the opening game, a powerful backhand return giving Konta a second break point which she took as her opponent double-faulted.

Konta dug deep to save two break points on her own serve in game two before an ace earned her a 2-0 lead as the second set looked like a repeat of the first.

Konta upped the pressure in game three to claim a second break for a 3-0 lead, only for Nara to break back in game four. But Konta broke again to lead 5-2 and then served out for a 6-4 6-2 victory to level the tie.

Konta surrenders Miami Open title to Williams

Credit: AP

Johanna Konta's defence of her Miami Open title ended on Monday as Venus Williams beat the British number one 5-7 6-1 6-2 in their fourth-round match in Key Biscayne.

The result will see 11th seed Konta drop from 14th in the world rankings to outside the top 20.

Williams, making her 19th appearance at the tournament and reaching the quarter-finals for a 13th time, enjoyed the vocal home support as she produced an outstanding display after coming off second best in a wobbly opening set.

The 37-year-old will face fellow American Danielle Collins in the last eight. Collins triumphed 3-6 6-4 6-2 against Puerto Rico's Monica Puig, who had seen off world number two Caroline Wozniacki at the weekend.

Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza followed Konta out of the tournament, with Sloane Stephens winning 6-3 6-4. Stephens - seeded 13 - will next play 10th seed Angelique Kerber, who rallied for a hard-fought 6-7 (1/7) 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 victory over China's Yafan Wang.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was sent packing in the late match, with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko seeing off the rain as well as the ninth-seeded Czech. The Latvian fifth seed prevailed 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 to reach the last eight, where she will take on Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.

Fourth seed Svitolina overcame Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4.

Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova was leading Zarina Diyas 6-2 2-1 when the Kazakh retired injured. The Czech will next take on Victoria Azarenka, who overpowered fellow former Miami champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2.

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