Johanna Konta: The loss is a bit frustrating

Johanna Konta in the second round of the Australian Open 2018

In the blazing Melbourne heat, lucky loser Pera showed her cool against the ninth seed, breaking the Briton four times to set up a third-round clash against 20th seed Barbora Strycova, in what is her maiden Grand Slam.

Konta struggled with her serve throughout the match and failed to hit a single ace, with the speed of her serve down on her previous match.

I'm still taking good stuff from this. "I don't feel, by any means, it's a massive catastrophe", Konta said after the match. I play every event to be there until the end, so I definitely don't want to be going home this early. "I think I just didn't play great".

The victory, however, was Pera's biggest of her career.

At 3-3, the 23-year-old crafted five more break point chances to grasp the advantage before Konta saved three match points on her own serve at 3-5.

Her exit was one of several shocks on the fourth day of the grand slam, as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka also fell victim to surprise defeats.

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Konta, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park in 2016 and quarter-finalist past year, saved four match points but Pera was not to be denied and set up a meeting with Barbora Strycova when the world number 10 fluffed an overhead volley.

But Konta, usually so solid, was still missing routine groundstrokes and she was immediately broken again.

She was tentative in the first set and while she tightened up early on, Pera was fearless.

Konta said the lack of matches under her belt may have been a factor. "There are things that I did well today". It wasn't like I wasn't out on court - I competed and my opponent beat me, so there is credit due to her.

However, the 26-year-old Brit slipped over to be broken after a disastrous service game and Pera made no mistake in seeing it out this time.

Konta then needed to save three match points in the next game, managing to send down a decent serve on each one, with Pera's return proving less effective when it most mattered. "I felt a little less nervous at 6-5. I didn't play well enough to be able to kind of earn that third set and try to earn my way out of the match".

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