Konta upbeat over challenges

Johanna Konta admitted that she was facing "challenges" at the start of the season, but insisted she would take the positives after injury and an early defeat cast a cloud over her Australian Open preparations.

The British world No. 9, who made the Melbourne Park semis in 2016 and the quarters last year, was bundled out of the Sydney International in the first round by Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday.

It followed her withdrawal from the Brisbane International quarter-finals with a right-hip injury.

"The positives I'm taking from the match is that my hip was good, I'm healthy," said the Sydney-born player, who is a fan favourite in Australia.

Heading into the year's opening Grand Slam, she insisted she feels "good".

She added that there were "still a lot of challenges that I will be facing these next few weeks", but she is "looking forward to that". - AFP