Johanna Konta has been cut to 4/1 to warm up in style for the Australian Open by winning the WTA Apia International in Sydney.

Konta succeeded where other seeds in her half of the draw failed as she reached the quarter-finals and is now the joint-second favourite for the title behind Agnieszka Radwanska at 9/4.

The Briton went on court immediately after world number one Angelique Kerber's defeat to Daria Kasatkina while Dominika Cibulkova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded third and fifth respectively, had also crashed out earlier on Tuesday.

That left Konta as the only seed in the top half of the draw and it was not an opportunity she wasted as she battled to a 6-1 6-3 victory over Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova in 81 minutes.
 

The 25-year-old did not look back after breaking in the opening game and dropped only four points on serve in a first set she dominated.

Konta quickly established herself in the second set and while the plucky Gavrilova staved off four match points on serve in the eighth game, the British number one saved a break point and then sealed the win at the sixth attempt.

“I knew going into the match it was going to be an incredibly tough one, she's one of the best fighters on tour,” Konta said of Gavrilova.

The sixth seed continues her preparations for the first grand slam of the year with a last-eight clash against Kerber's conqueror Kasatkina, the Russian ranked 16 places below Konta at 26 in the world.

Konta is 16/25 for the win, 8/5 to ease through in straight sets and 33/10 to win a deciding set.

She added: “It's such a strong tournament, such depth, I know going into every single match that it's going to be a tough one and I'm just going to have to, first and foremost, take care of things my end.”

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