For a set, though, a career-best clay run for the Briton appeared on the cards. Konta, aiming to notch up three consecutive main draw wins on the terre battue for the first time in her career, started off in confident form, standing well inside the baseline to take balls early, attack Ostapenko’s second serve and rush the net at every opportunity.
The brand new 27-year-old’s ultra-aggressive approach paid off as she broke her opponent twice while protecting her own serve from any break points, smothering Ostapenko’s game relentlessly. The reigning Roland Garros champion was unable to find her range, committing 10 unforced errors in the first set, and especially struggling on serve, landing a scant 33% of her first deliveries. Konta’s strategy initially allowed Ostapenko little opportunity to play herself into the match.