Konta beats Stephens to face Venus Williams at Italian Open

ROME, May 16 (Xinhua) — Britain’s Johanna Konta will face off Venus Williams on Thursday after coming back from a set down to beat the seventh-seeded Sloane Stephens 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 in the second round at the Italian Open.

Despite taking a 4-0 lead, Konta, ranked 42, made too many mistakes and lost the first set after a tiebreak. However, she rallied impressively as she showed her improvement in clay court technique and saw a two-set victory to book her ticket to the third round in two hours 33 minutes.

Due to a washout on Wednesday, the 27-year-old will play twice on Thursday and meet former world No. 1 Venus Williams, whose sister Serena Williams withdrew with knee injury.

Elsewhere, Japan’s world No. 1 Naomi Osaka eased past Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-3 to set up a third-round match against Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.

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