Johanna Konta dumped OUT of Wimbledon as Dominika Cibulkova claims straight-sets win over British No 1 to prove point after seeding snub
- British No 1 Johanna Konta was knocked out of Wimbledon on Thursday
- She was beaten in straight sets, losing 6-3 6-4 to Dominika Cibulkova on Centre
- The Slovakian had been overlooked for a seeding in place of Serena Williams
- Konta now faces a severe hit to her ranking following defeat on home soil
Published: 17:19 BST, 5 July 2018 | Updated: 23:14 BST, 5 July 2018
Beware a spurned seed at Wimbledon – she may be out to get you.
Jo Konta was left counting the cost of Wimbledon's decision to omit Dominika Cibulkova from its top 32 when she was unceremoniously dumped out of the second round.
Konta would not otherwise have met someone like the former Australian Open finalist as early as round two, and the hit her ranking will take with this result will see her relegated to around number 45 in the world.
Johanna Konta was knocked out of Wimbledon by Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets
The former Australian Open finalist played as if she had a point to prove on Centre Court
Scattered randomly in the draw to accommodate the post-pregnancy return of Serena Williams, the pocket rocket from Slovakia looked deeply stoked up to make her point, and did so by beating the British number one 6-3 6-4 on the Centre Court.
There will be no more seedings at Grand Slams or other significant tournaments for Konta, until she repairs the damage of failing to defend the 780 points from making the semi-finals a year ago.
There is irony in that the man ultimately responsible for Cibulkova becoming the most dangerous 'floater' in the draw was All England Club Chairman Philip Brook, whose daughter happens to be Konta's agent.
The diminutive Slovak had spoken of her dismay at the decision last week, and hinted after the match of the role it had played: 'It wasn't what I was thinking about before the match but yes, right now, I have won and proved I am a good player and able to beat Konta at home,' she said.
She certainly appeared up for it. Not only was there an irritating yelp accompanying every hit, but Konta complained to the umpire about her habit of slapping her thigh in the gap between receiving first and second serves. 'I have been doing that my whole career. This is the first time that anyone has ever complained about it,' added Cibulkova.
Konta now faces a severe hit to her ranking after she was ousted at her home Grand Slam
Konta has not looked the same player since she lost to Venus Williams in last year's semi-final
That it became distraction tells you a bit about where Konta's mind was as she tried to avoid going the same way as so many of the more prominent female contenders in the last four days.
Whatever Cibulkova's motivation – and she played outstandingly well in hitting 19 clean winners – the result was hardly a total surprise.
Konta has not quite looked the same player since she lost to Venus Williams in last year's semi-final, in the same way that British number two Heather Watson has not been quite the same since she so nearly beat Serena Williams on Centre Court three years ago.
It was hard to take seriously her later insistence that she is playing better compared to last year: 'I actually haven't regressed,' she said. ' This year, I actually feel like I'm heading in the direction I want to be heading in. I think I'm improving. I think sooner or later those results will come. If they don't, they don't.'
The computer rarely lies, and last year she left Wimbledon with her profile much enhanced – she brought in Wimbledon's highest TV viewing figures - and as world number four. That she will depart this time somewhere in the mid-forties tells of how things have gone in the meantime.
Cibulkova played outstandingly well in hitting 19 clean winners against the British No 1
But the Slovakian player denied afterwards that she was extra motivated by the snub
It will bring with it a degree of anonymity that may help as she heads towards the North American hard courts, with the chances slim that she will be seeded for the US Open.
Konta will not lack for work ethic. She was probably right when pointing out that being lower ranked might not be of too much relevance: ' I think this Wimbledon is another demonstration of how seeding is not the be all and end all. The depth we have in the women's game, how players can play very well in any certain match, I am not terribly worried of losing a number next to my name.'
She was unfortunate to come up against someone so on top of her game, who played this brand of largely one-dimensional Space Invader tennis better than she did on the day. It is often said that Konta needs to have more variation in her game, but she is hardly alone in that on the women's tour.
Cibulkova, who makes up for a lack of inches with the size of her heart, only got visibly nervous when trying to serve out the first set. Konta had one break point to get back level at 3-3 in the second, but she never made it close enough to rouse the crowd in the way she achieved a year ago.
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