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Johanna Konta makes seamless transition from clay to grass

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BIRMINGHAM, England — Johanna Konta made a seamless transition from clay to grass on Monday, beating Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-2 at the Nature Valley Classic in her first match since the French Open semifinals.

Konta is only ranked two places higher than No. 20 Kontaveit, but played at a high level throughout and wrapped up victory in an hour and 12 minutes at the warm-up event for Wimbledon.

Konta, Britain’s leading female player, reached her third Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros, where she lost in straight sets to Marketa Vondrousova.

Two of the highest seeds were defeated in the first round in Birmingham, with Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka both losing in three sets.

The fourth-seeded Svitolina, who has been struggling with a knee injury, lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to Margarita Gasparyan.

Sabalenka, the fifth seed, showed her frustration after losing a break advantage in the final set to go down 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (1) to Hsieh Su-wei.

Top-ranked Naomi Osaka plays her first match on Tuesday against Maria Sakkari of Greece, and has acknowledged she is still “not really that comfortable” on grass. Osaka has yet to make it past the third round at Wimbledon.

U.S. Open purse to surpass $57 million

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NEW YORK — The U.S. Open total purse this year is more than $57 million, the richest in tennis history.

The men’s and women’s singles champion will each receive $3.85 million, and the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will get $740,000. Those are both the highest payouts in U.S. Open history.

The U.S. Tennis Association said Thursday it worked with the ATP and WTA Tours to determine specific round-by-round prize money levels, and that the payouts for each round are all Grand Slam tournament records.

The payouts start at $58,000 for the first round of singles.

The USTA adds that it will make a payment of $500,000 to each tour to support the ATP and WTA Tour player programs, including pension.

The final major of the year will be played Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Venus Williams to play San Jose for second straight year

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Venus Williams has committed to play in San Jose later this month, her second straight appearance in the event.

She will play her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in the night session July 30 after reaching the 2018 quarterfinals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion is in the field for the 15th time, though the tournament moved from Stanford to San Jose last year.

The 39-year-old Williams will be a wild-card entry in the tournament.