British No1 Johanna Konta insists soaring temperatures at the Australian Open hold no fear for her after she cruised into the second round in Melbourne yesterday.
The grand slam, which was forced to overhaul its extreme heat policy after several players fell ill during the 2014 tournament, is expected to see the mercury nudge 37C on Thursday and Friday.
Ninth seed Konta is set to play again tomorrow when she faces world No123 Bernarda Pera, having seen off another American, Madison Brengle, 6-3, 6-1 on Tuesday.
“I’ll love it,” said Konta, who was born in Sydney. “I’m really looking forward to that. I love the Australian heat.”
Fellow Briton Heather Watson failed to join Konta in progressing after she lost 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in more than two hours.
Watson battled back after losing the first set to lead 4-1 in the second but failed to convert a set point and lost to world No54 Putintseva in a tie-break.
The 25-year-old said: “It’s not always going to go your way, and you’re not always going to play well, but at least I did everything in my power that I was supposed to do and prepared right.”
Konta and Kyle Edmund, who faces Denis Istomin in round two on Wednesday, are the only Britons left in the singles draws.