Johanna Konta showed a timely return to form last night to give Britain a small piece of joy with a decisive victory at the Western and Southern Open.

Just a week after suffering from heart palpitations in her return to action in Lexington, Kentucky, following five months off because of the Coronavirus-enforced break, Konta crushed former Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 6-0 to reach the third round.

And after her efforts to stay fully fit in lockdown were hampered by knee problems, a big morale-boost with the US Open, which is played on the same courts in New York as this week’s event, and which begins on Monday.

“Obviously I'm really pleased to have gotten a win,” she told reporters via Zoom. “The first one since Monterrey, which was...six months ago, a long time ago. I'm definitely pleased to have set up another opportunity for me to play tomorrow.

Konta said she was "making ground" in terms of her rehabilitation process with her knee. 

“It's not a straightforward injury where you take time out, you rehabilitate it, you come back, and you're good to go," she said. "These sorts of tendon issues, they can take years of just constant management and constant strengthening of it.”

Konta, who has had her fair share of coaches, is working with Maria Sharapova’s former coach, Thomas Hogstedt, a relationship she hopes will be extended for a longer period.

“I’m definitely enjoying having him as part of the team, having him get to know me,” she said. “He spent a week with us in London as well, we’re talking it day by day, seeing how it goes and hopefully it will turn into something.”

Konta will play former world No 2 Vera Zvonareva, the 35-year-old Russian who is back on Tour after becoming a mother and a series of injuries, and who yesterday beat Germany’s Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1.

While Andy Murray was due to play his second-round match against the No 5 seed Sascha Zverev last night, Dan Evans will have to wait for his first back-to-back wins at a Masters 1000 after he was outgunned 6-3, 7-5 by Canada’s Milos Raonic.

The former world No 3, now ranked No 30 after injury, dropped just four points on his first serve and didn't concede a single break point.

One break in each set was enough to give Raonic victory while Evans will now prepare for the US Open, where he reached the third round last year.