US Open: Jo Konta and Aljaz Bedene into second round

Jo Konta
Konta won successive ITF hard-court tournaments in Canada in the run-up to the US Open
US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 31 August-13 September
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on every Andy Murray match plus selected matches.

Britain's Jo Konta took her winning streak to 14 matches and Aljaz Bedene benefited from a retirement as both reached the US Open second round.

Konta, who came through three rounds of qualifying, beat American wildcard Louisa Chirico 6-3 6-0 in New York.

Bedene, 26, led Ernests Gulbis 3-6 6-4 3-0 when the Latvian retired.

Laura Robson went down 3-6 6-3 7-5 to Russia's Elena Vesnina, and James Ward was beaten 6-1 7-5 6-3 by Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.

Andy Murray made it three Britons in the second round after beating Australian Nick Kyrgios in Tuesday's night session.

Konta, ranked 97th, will next play Spanish ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, while Bedene, ranked 57th, goes on to face American Donald Young.

Aljaz Bedene
Slovenia-born Bedene was granted British citizenship in March

Konta keeps on winning

Since losing to Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon, the 24-year-old has gone on a startling run, collecting two titles and coming through qualifying at Flushing Meadows.

A draw that paired her with 19-year-old Chirico offered up real hope of only a second main draw win at a Grand Slam, and the Briton took her chance.

"It looks good on paper but I don't really treat this win any differently from the previous 13," Konta told BBC Sport.

"I'm really happy I was able to deal with things out there and take my opportunities."

Born in Australia but based in Eastbourne since switching allegiance to Britain in 2012, Konta has moved her tennis base to northern Spain.

That new support team includes a mental coach, and Konta said: "We've been doing good work. It's a very open team, there's a lot of communication between all of us, and now I've got some good tools to use."

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
"One had 13 wins in a row under her belt, and the other was chasing a first Tour-level victory for nearly two years - and it showed in New York's sapping humidity. Johanna Konta, with a little assistance from a mental coach who also works with hedge fund managers, is playing with composure fuelled by confidence, while Laura Robson is still reacquainting herself with the tension of the big occasion. There was much to like about the way Robson played, but also reassuring to see her in self-critical mode as she reflected on the one that got away."

Ward out but Bedene prevails

Britain's men appeared unlikely to add to the tally of wins when both fell behind early on, but Bedene was able to turn his match around before Gulbis retired with a wrist injury.

"I wouldn't say I could expect it," said Slovenia-born Bedene, who took British citizenship in March. "He was doing something with his wrist. I guess he was injured before.

"He was hitting his serve quite well so I don't think it's a big injury. But I guess he didn't feel comfortable to play."

Ward suffered a ninth straight defeat but remained optimistic about his form ahead of next month's Davis Cup semi-final against Australia.

"Obviously it's been tough," said the Londoner. "I've played in six of the top tournaments in the world.

"The last few weeks have been really good. I've been playing at a great level and I've been practising really well."

Laura Robson

Robson's Grand Slam wait goes on

Robson's last victory at a Grand Slam came on the same court 11 at Flushing Meadows in 2013, since when she missed 18 months with a serious wrist injury.

After a first-round loss as a Wimbledon wildcard, and just two wins in smaller tournaments, victory over world number 108 Vesnina would have truly kicked off the Robson comeback.

Robson, now ranked 618th, came within two points of doing just that but ultimately paid the price for letting a 4-0 lead disappear in the final set.

A sliding first-serve percentage allowed Vesnina to attack the second serve, and Robson's ground game was not yet robust enough to withstand the pressure.

"Any loss is tough, but that one especially because if we're being honest, I should have won," said Robson. "That definitely makes it harder and makes me more determined to work harder for the next one."

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