By Marcus Ally
Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta returns to action against Serena Williams tomorrow (Tuesday) as she begins her preparations for the US Open.
Following her disappointing second round exit at Wimbledon, she is back at the hard courts of the Stanford Classic in San Jose, where she claimed her first WTA title in 2016.
She will though have a difficult draw in aiming to repeat that feat, facing Wimbledon finalist and 23 time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, in the first round.
The 36-year-old is a former three time winner of the event herself and brushed aside the British No 1 in their only previous meeting in straight sets at last years’ Australian Open.
Konta trained in California last week, looking to answer a few critics since her slide from world No 4 to 48 in the WTA rankings from July 2017.
Her last outing on a hard court saw her reach the round of 16 at this year’s Miami Masters where she lost to Serena’s sister Venus.
Familiar surroundings and excellent past performances in San Jose should alleviate some of the pressure she was under at Wimbledon and Eastbourne, however it will not be easy starting off against the best player of her generation.