The WTA professional tour has started its swing across Europe's red clay having two stops this week. The first is in Istanbul, a brand new WTA International event while the second one has the city of Stuttgart hosting a WTA Premier event. An indoor clay event, Stuttgart's draw was populated with most of the top 10 players in the WTA ranking.

Among them, Johanna Konta, the world no. 7 made her second appearance on red clay this season following her presence of last weekend in Fed Cup rubber against Romania. The 6th seed in Stuttgart, Johanna Konta was on the verge of collision with Simona Halep the who ousted her several days ago in Fed Cup.

But Konta seems far from her peak during these early encounters on this surface. In Stuttgart's opening round she got past qualifier Naomi Osaka in three sets only to fail earlier today against Anastasija Sevastova (26 WTA) of Latvia.

Johanna Konta needs to adapt the change in order to hold a top 10 spot by the end of the clay session

The first part of the season put two WTA titles in Konta's pocket as she won the Premier event in Sydney as well as the Premier Mandatory tournament from Miami. Being a player who mostly relies on her powerful groundstrokes from the baseline, she saw her weapons being neutralized in today's match.

Sevastova who knocked out Samantha Stosur in the previous round put in a smart play by not allowing her opponent to settle into the court.

By keeping her on the run and ultimately off-balanced, the Latvian player opened the court for a much more effective game from her side. She wasn't constrained to go after big-decisive-risky shots so often which gave her a sense of confidence during the exchanges. It was Konta who had to take risks on her shoulders and in the end, she lost the contest.

It was 6-3 7-5 for Sevastova who will now take on Simona Halep for a place in the last four.

Konta has plenty of time to settle in for the upcoming challenges on clay

Last year it was a lot of disappointment regarding her overall Clay Court performance. Her best result was a 3rd round in Rome while in Stuttgart, Madrid and the French Open she was eliminated in the opening round.

But her game is on an upward spiral, and now she is a top 10 solid player.

Even the second set against Sevastova had its moments of well-grounded tennis approach from Konta. Only her hesitation at the net stood in the way of a possible tie-break and maybe a third set decider. The good news is that she has no ranking pressure to handle as she has almost nothing to defend from last year while other top 10 stars like Halep, Muguruza or Cibulkova must preserve their slots.

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