US Open 2016: Konta comes through after collapsing on court
Johanna Konta collapses at the end of the second set (Picture from Eurosport)

US Open 2016: Konta comes through after collapsing on court

The 13th seed suffered with breathing problems due to the heat at the end of the second set.

Joe Nicholson

Britain’s Johanna Konta collapsed on court during her second round match at the US Open but managed to recover to beat Tsvetana Pironkova in three sets.

The thirteenth seed suffered with breathing problems at the end of the second set and fell to her knees in clear discomfort when serving at set point down.

She complained about blurred vision and required treatment before she finally managed to continue.

After a lengthy delay the British number one was able to recover and managed record a remarkable 6-2 5-7 6-2 victory in humid conditions.

Konta, who this time last year was ranked 97th in the world, has had an extraordinary 12 months and at the start of August she had risen to a career high of 13 in the WTA rankings.

Impressive start from Konta

In the opening set it was clear to see why, as Konta made the perfect start by breaking the Pironkova serve in the opening game of the match.

The Bulgarian, ranked 71st in the world, is a player who often plays her best tennis at the majors, and she was a quarter-finalist at the French Open earlier this year.

Pironkova also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon back in 2010, however in the early exchanges she considerably came up second best, losing the first set in a mere 28 minutes

Konta landed 68 per cent of her first serves in the opening set and she backed it up well from the back of the court.

A delicate drop shot in the fifth game sealed a 4-1 lead for the Brit, who demonstrated plenty of variety and confidence in her ever-improving game.

An early break at 2-2 in third appeared to give Konta a commanding lead however Pironkova converted her first break points of the match in the following game.

That signalled a shift in momentum and the Bulgarian then began to excel in some of the longer rallies from beyond the baseline.

When serving at 5-6 Konta wrestled to save two set points, however her body gave way when she faced a third.

Heat rule not deployed

The heat was clearly a big factor and the Brit needed a number of ice packs to cool her down.

Ironically, the majors have recently introduced a ‘heat rule’, where the women are allowed to take a 10-minute break if the temperature becomes too hot.

The problem here was that temperature wasn’t particularly high; however, it was the humidity which was the issue.

When they resumed Konta doubled faulted to concede the second set and she took another break before the start of the third.

Konta recovers after break

In the decider it was Konta who manged to recompose herself, as Pironkova made a string of errors.

The Bulgarian can’t have been helped by prospect of facing a wounded opponent, however Konta’s recovery must be commended.

The Brit will now come up against another tough test when she takes on Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the third round.

There was more good news for British fans earlier in the day, as Kyle Edmund reached the third round of a major for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old beat American Ernesto Escobedo 7-5 6-4 6-4 to back up his win over Richard Gasquet in round one.