Johanna Konta was playing for the first time since losing in the first round of the Australian Open on 21 January

Johanna Konta stepped up her return to full fitness with a doubles win at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Konta, 28, sat out Great Britain’s Fed Cup defeat by Slovakia at the weekend to reduce her workload.

The British number one has only played two singles games since September’s US Open because of a knee injury.

But she and Caroline Garcia of France won 6-3 3-6 10-5 against Germany’s Vivian Heisen and Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine to reach the quarter-finals.

Konta, ranked 14th in the world, was playing her first game since losing to Ons Jabeur in the first round of the Australian Open on 21 January.

She is also scheduled to play in the singles in St Petersburg and, as the fourth seed, has been given a bye to the second round.

Konta will face either Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova or Oceane Dodin of France on Wednesday.

plumbers Wye

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