First Venus, next the world for Johanna Konta?

July 27, 2016

Johanna Konta has progressed to the second round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, carrying the momentum of her memorable first WTA tour title with her.

Konta's 6-4, 6-2 win over American Shelby Rogers continued her winning streak after her breakthrough victory on Monday (July 25th) in the Stanford Classic against Venus Williams.

Her 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory was not merely a win that saw the British number one down a seven-time Grand Slam champion, but a triumph placing her in rare company among Britons. Previously, the only British winner at Stanford was Sue Barker in 1977, who beat Virginia Wade in that year's final. This was no WTA 250 tournament for a promising player to get off the mark with; the Stanford Classic is one of the top events outside the Grand Slams. In defeating a legend of the sport in a tournament of such prestige - and all in her very first WTA final - Konta has made the tennis world sit up and take notice.

Given that Barker and Wade were Grand Slam winners, talk will now increase about Konta as a possible winner of a major title herself. Ranked 147th in the world a year ago, she is now up to 14th and sure to be among the seeds for the US Open. Fans thinking of making early corporate hospitality bookings for The Championships, Wimbledon in 2017 may be wise to do so, for it is not just Andy Murray that Britons will be able to invest their hopes in now.

Konta will aim to continue her upward curve in the Rogers Cup, with Vania King awaiting in round two. The Olympics are approaching fast, the US Open is just a month away and with Serena Williams struggling to overcome a shoulder strain that has forced her to sit out the Rogers Cup, the opportunities for the Briton to challenge for a medal and then a Grand Slam are clear.

With Heather Watson having also won an ATP tour singles event this year in Monterrey - as well as the Mixed doubles at Wimbledon - the future for British ladies' tennis is looking increasingly bright.

By Keith Prowse

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