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Konta sets up Ostapenko showdown

Press Association logoPress Association 28/06/2017

Johanna Konta denied she had been seeking revenge as she eased to victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea at the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

The third-round victory sets up a clash on Thursday with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia.

British No.1 Konta's comfortable 6-2 6-2 defeat of the 62nd-ranked Cirstea represented their first meeting since Great Britain's Fed Cup fixture in Constanta in April, when Konta also won but left the court in tears amid a row with Romania coach Ilie Nastase.

She had been called a "f***ing bitch" by Nastase, and Cirstea then accused her of gamesmanship as she cried. But instead of taking particular satisfaction at her Eastbourne victory, Konta dismissed suggestions she had been driven by the recent bad experience.

"I wasn't playing in a Fed Cup setting," the 26-year-old said. "I wasn't going up against an emotion and I wasn't going up against a past experience.

"I was going up against an opponent who happened to be Sorana, and I prepared the best I could for that match. I played the ball that I had and the opponent I had but not the circumstances that happened a month ago.

"I can only speak for me personally, but I put it to bed a long time ago. I have been moving on from that situation that I was a part of since it happened."

Konta's rapid rise over the past 18 months has been surpassed by Ostapenko, 20, who at Roland Garros earlier this month became the first Latvian to win a grand slam singles title.

"She's a dangerous player, and she's coming off winning her maiden grand slam," said Konta, who lives in Eastbourne.

"She's coming in with a tremendous amount of confidence and hunger to play. It's another opportunity to play someone in great form."

"For us on the tour we have seen her around for many years. It's not as out of the blue for us as it may seem for you."

Spain's Garbine Muguruza was unexpectedly eliminated, suffering a convincing 6-1 6-0 defeat by Barbora Strycova, while German world No.1 Angelique Kerber overcame Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 4-6 6-1 7-5.

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