Johanna Konta suffers straight sets defeat by world No 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in China Open final
- Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 in China Open
- World No 3 Radwanska edged the first set before dominating the second
- Despite losing the final, Konta secured a place in the world's top 10
Jo Konta began the year with an unexpected run to the Australian Open semi-final, and is ending it by showing that her performance in Melbourne was no isolated incident.
Despite a 6-4, 6-2 defeat in the final of the China Open, the British No 1 has forced her way into the world’s top 10.
Her improvement has continued apace, even though unlocking the remarkable courtcraft of world No 3 Agnieszka Radwanska proved beyond her.
British No 1 Johanna Konta's efforts to win the China Open ended in disappointing fashion
Konta suffered a straights sets loss to world No 3 Agnieszka Radwanska (pictured) in Beijing
Konta still makes it into the world's top 10 after her impressive run at the China Open
By making the final of this WTA Premier Mandatory event — the top level below the Grand Slams — 25-year-old Konta may well have secured a place in the eight-woman field for the WTA Championships in Singapore at the end of this month.
She is in the final qualifying spot with two weeks of regular tournaments to go. She is next due to play in the Hong Kong Open (where her first opponent is Britain’s Naomi Broady).
Apart from a brief lull during the clay court season Konta has been a model of consistency. As others have flagged towards the end of the year she has kept going.
25-year-old Konta can still be positive about what she has achieved in Beijing this week
Radwanska, 27, delivered a classy display and won the match with a rare ace
Konta shares a joke with her opponent by placing a mascot inside her trophy after the match
‘I guess it’s pretty cool,’ she said after the final. ‘I’m very pleased with my progress over the last few years. I’m really enjoying my journey. Hopefully there are many more places to climb.’
Radwanska — with her guile and delicate skills — was a difficult match-up for Konta. The Pole went 5-2 up with two breaks before Konta cut that to 5-4 and had a chance to level but badly fluffed a volley.
The second set was closer than the scoreline suggested but Radwanska showed her class in the end.
Poland's Radwanska was too strong for Konta, showing why she is ranked third in the world
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