Johanna Konta vs. Bernarda Pera, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs. 🇺🇸 (Q) Bernarda Pera

Johanna Konta and Bernard Pera will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday. Pera has proven to be a surprisingly troublesome opponent for Konta, the pair have met on 2 occasions in 2018 and claimed 1 win apiece. Both will view this is a winnable match and a great opportunity to reach the third round at the third premier mandatory event of the year.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Clay has always been Johanna Konta’s least successful surface. Perhaps the relatively quick clay courts in Madrid can provide the opportunity for Konta to gain some confidence on clay. Konta started her 2018 Madrid campaign with a solid 6-3 7-5 win over the 16th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

Bernarda Pera has already won 3 matches in Madrid. The American claimed straight set wins over Polona Hercog and Sachia Vickery to progress through the qualifying draw whilst a 6-2 4-6 6-3 win over Aryna Sabalenka secured her spot in the second round of the main draw.

Both of the previous matches between the pair took place on a hard court earlier this year. Pera stunned Konta at the second round stage of the Australian Open, a 6-4 7-5 win whilst more recently it was Konta who won 7-6 6-1 in Doha.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Johanna Konta, Madrid R1 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open R1 Preview
🇸🇰 (16) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

One of the toughest opening round match-ups in Madrid sees the 16th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova come up against Johanna Konta. Rybarikova was the last player to be seeded whilst Konta was just a few spot off being seeded leading to rare battle between two top 25 players at the opening round of a tournament. It is Konta who has won both of the previous matches between the pair but Rybarikova will fancy her chances here given Konta’s lacklustre form of late.

Clay is the least preferred surface for both Rybarikova and Konta. Combined the two have won just 4 matches at the tour level on clay in the last couple of years

Rybarikova arrives in Madrid on the back of a second round showing in Stuttgart. Rybarikova claimed a big win over Kasatkina in the first round before suffering a very respectable 3 set loss to Simona Halep. Konta’s start to the clay season was far less impressive as she was beaten by Fanny Stollar in straight sets in the opening round in Charleston.

Konta holds a perfect 2-0 lead over Rybarikova. Both of the previous matches between the pair were on grass in Nottingham, a 6-3 6-3 win in 2015 and a 6-2 7-5 win last year.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Johanna Konta vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai R2 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 (7/wc) Johanna Konta vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to win a main draw match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday evening as she beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets. Konta is competing in Dubai for the first time in her career, the 7th seed will be back in action on Wednesday where she will come up against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the second round.

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Johanna Konta will be aiming to build on her decent recent form this week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Konta is yet to consistently show her best tennis in 2018 but she is certainly playing better than she did at the later stages of 2017. Konta arrived in Dubai fresh off a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of straight set matches against Bernarda Pera and Carla Suarez Navarro before succumbing to Angelique Kerber in a quality 3 set encounter. Konta started her Dubai campaign on Monday with a 7-6 6-2 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. After saving a few crucial break points at 4-4 in the opening set, Konta went on to win 24 of her last 27 service points in what was a fairly clinical performance by the Brit.

Daria Kasatkina also claimed her first ever victory in Dubai on Monday where she secured a 7-5 6-4 victory over former champion Agnieszka Radwanska. The signs were good for Kasatkina, most importantly she looked fit and healthy after having to retire injured in her opening round match in Doha last week. Kasatkina will face a very different test in the form of Konta in the next round, probably a much tougher challenge for the Russian.

It was Johanna Konta who the only previous match between the pair, a 6-3 7-5 victory in Sydney last year.

To view my Analysis / Prediction: Click here

Johanna Konta vs Bernarda Pera, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R2 Preview
🇬🇧 (9) Johanna Konta vs 🇺🇸 (LL) Bernarda Pera

Johanna Konta continues her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title on Thursday with a second round clash against American Lucky-loser Bernarda Pera. Konta was clinical in her opening round match at Melbourne Park, despatching Madison Brengle with little fuss. Konta will be hoping for a similarly straightforward victory here.

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Konta made her first big breakthrough at Melbourne Park, reaching the semi-final stage in 2016. Konta also reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year. Clearly Konta has fond memories at this event and the quick conditions suit the Britt perfectly. Konta made a perfect start to her 2018 campaign on Tuesday, beating Johanna Konta 6-3 6-1 in little over an hour. Konta produced a very clean performance, hitting 8 aces amongst 37 winners whilst her serve was only broken once.

Bernarda Pera fell at the final stage of the qualifying draw, beaten by Viktorija Golubic in straight sets. Pera found herself in the draw courtesy of receiving after lucky-loser spot when Margarita Gasparyan pulled out of the event due to injury. Pera made the most of her spot in the main draw, the American beat
Anna Blinkova 6-2 6-2 to claim her first ever win in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

This will be the first career meeting between Konta and Pera.

Johanna Konta vs Madison Brengle, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(9) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs 🇺🇸 Madison Brengle

Johanna Konta will begin her 2018 Australian Open campaign against Madison Brengle on Tuesday. Konta did not have an ideal preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year, an injury scare in Brisbane and an early exit in Sydney. Nevertheless, Konta seems confident heading into Melbourne and rightfully so given her previous results at the event: a semi-final showing in 2016 and a quarter-final appearance last year.

Johanna Konta ended 2017 in very poor form but did well to regain momentum in Brisbane. Konta started the season with 2 victories from a set down in Brisbane against Keys and Tomljanovic before being forced to retire with a hip injury against Svitolina. Konta was dealt a brutal draw in Sydney, coming up against Agnieszka Radwanska, a rematch of last years final. Unfortunately for the defending champion she was unable to execute her game, losing to the Pole in a nervy performance.

Madison Brengle’s form in the lead up to the first slam of the year has been unspectacular. Brengle was dealt a tough draw in Auckland, defeated by Wozniacki in straight sets in the opening round. The American then moved down to Auckland where she was unable to get through the qualifying draw, beaten by Kurumi Nara in straight sets.

The head-to-head record between Konta and Brengle is split at 1 win apiece. Brengle defeated Konta in straight sets in Linz in 2015 whilst more recently Konta won 6-4 6-0 in Indian Wells in 2016.

Johanna Konta vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Sydney R1 Preview

Sydney International, R1 Preview
(4) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska

The pick of the first round matches at the Sydney International sees Johanna Konta take on Agnieszka Radwanska, a repeat of 2017’s final. This is a brutal draw for the two former champions, but both will see it as good preparation before heading to the Australian Open.

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Konta and Radwanska both reached the quarter-final stage in their opening tournament last week. Konta won a couple of tough matches over Madison Keys and Ajla Tomljanovic in Brisbane before being forced to retire early in the third set with a hip injury against Elina Svitolina. Konta and Svitolina were both playing at an extremely high level before Konta’s unfortunate retirement.

Radwanska’s first week ended in great disappointment. Radwanska was shockingly eliminated by Sachia Vickery at the quarter-finals stage in Auckland, a 2-6 2-6 loss. Radwanska claimed wins over Beatriz Maia Haddad and Taylor Townsend earlier in the week.

Radwanska holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. Radwanska won the two matches between the pair in 2016, a 3 set win in Cincinnati and a straight set win in the final at the China Open. The most recent match was in last year’s Sydney final where Konta produced a sublime level to win 6-4 6-2.

Elina Svitolina vs Johanna Konta, Brisbane QF Preview

Brisbane International, Quarter-Final Preview
🇺🇦 (3) Elina Svitolina vs 🇬🇧 (5) Johanna Konta

The pick of the quarter-final matches at the Brisbane International sees Elina Svitolina take on Johanna Konta, the first all top 10 battle of the 2018 season. Elina Svitolina has won both of the previous meetings between the pair, Konta will be keen to reverse that trend. Konta has made a gutsy run to the final 8 in Brisbane, coming from a set down in both of her opening matches. Konta will need a much more consistent performance if she is to be successful against Svitolina.

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Elina Svitolina has made a superb start to her 2018 campaign in Brisbane. Svitolina started the event with a 6-2 6-4 win over Carla Suarez Navarro before clinically disposing of the always-dangerous Ana Konjuh with little fuss, winning 6-3 6-1. Svitolina is one of several serious contenders looking to claim her maiden Grand Slam title in 2018.

Johanna Konta is another player in the mix for a maiden Grand Slam title. The British number 1 ended 2017 in poor form but has displayed signs of her old self in a couple of hard-fought victories to start the year. Konta was dealt a brutal first round draw against Madison Keys. Konta came through that match with flying colours, winning 4-6 6-4 6-3 after a tough start. Konta again found herself a set down in her second round match against Ajla Tomljanovic. Konta played an awful first set but gradually improved enough to record a 4-6 6-1 6-4 win.

As mentioned above, it is Svitolina who holds a 2-0 record over Konta. The most recent match between the pair took place in Zhuhai in 2016, Svitolina claimed a 2-6 6-1 6-4 victory. Can Konta reverse the trend and claim her first career win over Svitolina or will the Ukrainian be too strong?

Johanna Konta vs Ajla Tomljanovic, Brisbane R2 Preview

Brisbane International, R2 Preview
(5) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic

Johanna Konta kick-started her 2018 campaign in style with a hard-fought 3 set win over Madison Keys on Monday. Konta will be straight back into action on Tuesday as she comes up against an ever-improving Ajla Tomljanovic on Pat Rafter Arena.

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Johanna received a brutal opening round draw in Brisbane, coming up against Madison Keys, the highest ranked unseeded players in the draw. It was a tight battle, but Konta improved as the match wore on and eventually claimed a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win. One break of serve was the difference in each set. After Keys blasted Konta off the court in the opening set, Konta steadily improved as the match went on and she improved her serve to keep Keys at bay. Konta’s trademark aggressive deep hitting from the baseline was on full display s was her power at end-range. Konta will gain a lot of confidence from this win, especially after she ended 2017 with a string of disappointing losses.

Ajla Tomljanovic cruised into the second round in Brisbane. Tomljanovic easily accounted for fellow Aussie Destanee Aiava 6-1 6-4. Tomljanovic’s serve was her standout weapon against Aiava. Tomljanovic was broken on just 1 occasion, served 7 aces and won 79 percent of points behind her first serve. Tomljanovic will face a far greater test when she comes up against Johanna Konta on Tuesday evening on the main court.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair. With over 100 ranking places between them, on paper it looks like a one-sided match but Tomljanovic is much better than her ranking suggests and if she serves well and plays consistent tennis from the baseline, this could be a close one.

Dominika Cibulkova vs Johanna Konta, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, 🇺🇸🌉 Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(7) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs (11) 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova

An exciting third round clash at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday evening sees the 7th seeded Johanna Konta come up against the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Konta and Cibulkova both cruised through their second round matches in Cincinnati. Konta defeated Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3 whilst Cibulkova beat Alize Cornet 6-4 6-1. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at one win apiece, both matches took place on hard court last year. The scene is set for a high intensity, close match between two of the toughest competitors on tour with a quarter-final spot up for grabs in Cincinnati.

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Johanna Konta vs Venus Williams, Wimbledon SF Preview

Wimbledon🌱🏆🎩🇬🇧💂🍓 Semi-Final Match Preview:
SF #2: (6) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs (10) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

A blockbuster second semi-final at Wimbledon on Thursday sees local hope Johanna Konta come up against 5-time former champion Venus Williams. Johanna Konta is now just two wins away from becoming the first British woman to win Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1977. Whilst Venus Williams is two wins away from becoming the oldest champion at Wimbledon. These two have built up a nice rivalry in recent years, Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head advantage over the American, Thursday’s semi-final will be their first ever meeting on a grass court. With so much on the line, this is sure to be a tense encounter, one that could seemingly go either way given how evenly matches these two have proven to be.

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