Konta fails to make Shenzhen final
Britain's Johanna Konta is out of the Shenzhen Open, beaten in the semi-finals by Katerina Siniakova.
The British number one, number 10 in the world had been expected to beat her Czech opponent, ranked a relatively lowly 52.
I'm happy I got to play four really great matches in the first week of the season.Johanna Konta
However, after winning the first set, dropping just one game in just over 20 minutes, Konta let her standards slip. She did go up 4-2 in the deciding set but Siniakova won four games in a row to get through to her third WTA final where she will meet the American Alison Riske.
Riske, the eighth seed, beat top seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the last eight, revenge for last year when Radwanska beat her in the final.
Konta had been the highest ranked player left in the draw for the semi-finals but failed to reach what would have been her third WTA final having, in 2016 won the Stanford Classic and lost the China Open.
She said after her defeat: "I think she definitely started slower, and me, quite well. But all credit to her, she really raised her level in the next two sets.
"She was going for every single shot and played quite freely, so it was a difficult match for me to do what I would have liked."
However, despite the loss, it was a semi-final appearance at the start of the year and, with the Australian Open just days away, was a good opportunity for match practice.
"I'm happy I got to play four really great matches in the first week of the season. I feel very fortunate to have gotten that time on court," she added.
Konta is 14/1 to win the Australian Open this year. Defending champion Angelique Kerber is 10/3 to win at Melbourne Park for a second year while Serena Williams is 5/2.
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