While Konta insists that she is never too concerned about the prospect of defending ranking points, this could be a significant fortnight in her career.Had she lost in the first round she would probably have dropped out of the world’s top 40 at the end of the tournament.
Four games later Vikhlyantseva again got into trouble with a pair of double faults and this time she was unable to rescue the situation.
At 0-40 Konta went on the attack and forced her opponent into a backhand error.
“Both players were trying to find their footing and to find the level that they want to play. It was very breezy and dusty and that definitely didn’t make it easy on us.
“In the first round of a Slam – and for me at Wimbledon – there are definitely some nerves there, but I enjoyed every second of it.
Konta kept up the pressure in the first game of the second set, breaking serve with a forehand cross-court return winner.
At 4-3 the Briton had two chances for a second break, but Vikhlyantseva saved both of them with big forehand winners.The last month, nevertheless, has seen Konta find her best form of the year.She reached her first final for 12 months in Nottingham and took Caroline Wozniacki, the eventual champion, to three sets in Eastbourne last week.Prince William and Kate are regulars at Wimbledon If Kate does choose to venture to Wimbledon this year, she may be joined by another tennis fan – her sister-in-law Meghan Markle.The Duchess of Sussex has only been pictured at Wimbledon once in 2016, when she supported her close friend, tennis champion Serena Williams.Victory was no less than Konta should have expected against the world No 103, but as Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina, the No 4 and No 5 seeds respectively, had discovered 24 hours earlier, the early rounds on Wimbledon’s lush grass can be a dangerous place.