Williams, 35, was enjoying a renaissance of form in the back half of 2015, but continued her poor start to 2016, losing to Konta in straight sets, 4-6, 2-6 at the Melbourne Park.

Williams was almost bagel ed in the second set by a relentless Konta, who forced the seven-time Grand Slam winner across the court but managed a mini-fight back before falling after one hour and 19 minutes.

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Konta, 24, admitted her lead-up form wasn't the best despite playing at two tournaments before here.

"I played two previous tournaments and didn't have the right results but I have strong belief in the way I want to play. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Today I won. It was hot out there and I was playing an incredibly good player, but I felt I was playing at a good level," she said.

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Konta could face China's No.1 ranked player Zheng Saisai in the second round. Zheng faces German Carina Witthoelt later today.

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