Wimbledon 2016: Johanna Konta loses to Eugenie Bouchard
|Wimbledon on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July|
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British number one Johanna Konta is out of Wimbledon after losing 6-3 1-6 6-1 to 2014 finalist Eugenie Bouchard.
The Australian Open semi-finalist had fought back from a disappointing first set to take the match to a decider.
But in front of a Centre Court crowd earlier treated to a masterclass from British men's number one Andy Murray, she was quickly broken twice more.
It marked a sweet Wimbledon return for Canadian Bouchard, beaten by qualifier Duan Yingying in the 2015 first round.
"I went in with no real expectations of an outcome," said Konta. "I definitely expected her to play well.
"Although her ranking may have gone down over the past year, her level of tennis never went away. She is an incredibly good player with a lot of experience, in the short career she's had.
"I've got a lot of good things to take away from that match and a lot of things I hope to implement in my development as a tennis player and as a person."
Konta, 25, had broken Bouchard early in the first set for a 2-1 lead, only to then ship the next four games as her opponent's greater accuracy from the baseline began to tell.
With that accuracy and power came the first set, and Konta's hopes looked to be disappearing in the fresh evening air.
But she broke again in Bouchard's opening service game of the second set, and under intense pressure this time held her own in the next game.
The 22-year-old then raced into a 0-40 lead on Konta's next service only for the Briton to once again fight back, saving a series of break points.
And Konta kept the momentum going with a break to love in the sixth game before holding serve to level the match up.
Still the service pressure came. Konta once again slipped to 0-40 on her own serve early in the third and this time saw it taken as Bouchard ended a magnificent rally with a stretching forehand volley.
Bouchard had climbed as high as five in the world before a precipitous decline over the past 18 months, and that raw talent bloomed again as she took further control with a second break for 4-0 in the decider.
Konta, so vastly improved in the past 12 months, was unable to work a break point as the contest slipped away from her, and in this form Bouchard will pose a serious threat in her half of the draw.
Sam Smith, former British number one and BBC Sport commentator
"Konta played pretty well but Bouchard was looking like a top-10 player out there.
"Konta's forehand looked more vulnerable than I've seen for a while, and it was a shame because she had great momentum coming out of the second set.
"It was important to get an early break in the third, hold and then she would have been driving it. There was not an awful lot in it.
"Bouchard, even though she is three years younger, is more experienced in these big stadium situations and that counted for a lot.
"Bouchard looked even better than 2014. If she can maintain that and gets through in a tough draw against Dominika Cibulkova then she is a contender.
"But Konta has won her first match at Wimbledon in four attempts, that's a big step, had a great Eastbourne and is a top-20 player in the world. She wasn't quite good enough today and I think you can accept that."