British No.1s Johanna Konta and Dan Evans were shock losers on the opening day of tournaments in the UK.
World No.14 Konta could only win seven games as she lost 6-4, 6-3 to underdog Jodie Burrage at the the St. James’s Place Battle of the Brits as Evans went down 4-6, 6-3, 10-7, to Cameron Norrie.
Watching Konta’s loss was new coach Thomas Hogstedt, who used to coach Maria Sharapova.
Konta also confirmed she has pulled out of next week’s Palermo Open in Italy to focus on the North American hardcourt swing. Her next tournament is set to be the Top Seed Open in Lexington, USA.
“We haven’t had any [WTA player council] meetings for a few weeks but everything is pointing in the direction that it (the US Open) is going to go ahead,” Konta said.
Evans couldn’t convert two break points during the second set to lead the match by a set and 4-2 and eventually fell away as Norrie battled back to claim victory.
26 players are playing in this week’s event UK event with the field split into two groups: the British Bulldogs and the Union Jack. Evans and Konta are on opposite teams.
The Bulldogs were in control after the first day of competition with a 9-4 lead. Points in the tie vary depending on the type of match played. Other Bulldog winners included Kyle Edmund, a winner over 19-year-old Anton Matusevich 7-5, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber has split with coach Dieter Kindlmann and rehired Torben Beltz.
The former world number No.1 has not won a title since Wimbledon in 2018 under then coach Wim Fissette.
Kerber, 32, is currently ranked 21 in the world.