Johanna Konta defeats Bernarda Pera at Qatar Open to avoid repeat defeat to American

Johanna Konta gained a measure of revenge for her surprise Australian Open defeat to Bernarda Pera with a straight-sets victory over the American in the Qatar Open first round.

Pera secured the biggest victory of her career, as a lucky loser, when she defeated the British No 1 at Melbourne Park last month in the second round.

Konta, who secured three confidence-boosting victories for Great Britain in the Europe/Africa Zone group stage of the Fed Cup last week, overcame a first set dip in form to win 7-6(5) 6-1 against the world No 113.

The British No 1, who is the 10th seed this week in a strong field which includes Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, endured a tough end to her 2017 campaign but after throwing away an early 3-0 lead in Doha recovered from 6-5 30-0 to break her opponent and force a tiebreak.

The world No 11 dominated the second set proceedings to secure the victory in one hour and 28 minutes and book a second round encounter with either Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro or Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko.

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