Johanna Konta vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs. 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic

Johanna Konta and Ajla Tomljanovic will do battle for the second time this month when they meet at the opening round stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Konta and Tomljanovic went head-to-head in Brisbane a few weeks ago, it was Tomljanovic who somewhat surprisingly came out on that occasion, can Konta reverse that result at Melbourne Park?

Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in action during the first round of the 2019 Sydney International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Johanna Konta has made an erratic start to the 2019 season. Konta started the year with a significant straight set win over Sloane Stephens in Brisbane but was dumped from the tournament in the second round by Ajla Tomljanovic. Konta then went down to Sydney where she competed in the qualifying draw, Konta withdrew from her second round match with a neck injury.

Ajla Tomljanovic made a good start to the year in Brisbane. The adopted Aussie reached the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International where she defeated Katerina Siniakova and Johanna Konta before succumbing to Karolina Pliskova in 3 lopsided set match. More recently Tomljanovic was in Sydney last week where she suffered a straight set opening round loss to Camila Giorgi.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both of their previous matches took place in Brisbane. Konta claimed a 3 set victory last year whilst Tomljanovic defeated Konta 6-2 7-6 a few weeks ago. Who will come out on top on this occasion?

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Sloane Stephens vs. Johanna Konta, Brisbane R1 Preview

Brisbane International, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (3) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

Sloane Stephens and Johanna Konta will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet in an exciting opening round clash in Brisbane. It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, a match-up that features an extreme contrast in styles. Konta has a powerful, aggressive game but is very mechanical whilst Stephens has easy power and is a supreme athlete.

Sloane Stephens has struggled during the Australian summer in recent times and will no doubt be focusing on having a great month down under in 2019. Stephens was very inconsistent in 2018, her best is extremely good but she seems to pick and choose when to produce that level. Brisbane is an important tournament for Stephens to gain momentum and confidence heading into the first Grand Slam of the year.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain practices ahead of the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Johanna Konta also had a very inconsistent 2018 season. Unlike Stephens, Konta has started well over the last few years. Konta has made it to the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open in 2 of the last 3 years. The Sydney-born Brit sees Australia as a second home and her game is well suited to the quick hard courts in Brisbane where she made the quarter-finals last year.

Will the third seeded Stephens survive a tough opening round match-up?

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Johanna Konta, Wuhan R1 Preview

🐉 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
🇦🇺 (16) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

Ash Barty had her big breakthrough at a major event in Wuhan 12 months ago when she made it all the way to the final. The pressure is on Barty this week to defend her finalist points and she begins her 2018 campaign with a potentially tough opening round clash against Johanna Konta. Barty has won the last couple of matches between the two and will be the favourite to make it 3 wins in a row over the Brit.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Barty and Konta were both in action in Tokyo last week, both suffered disappointing second round losses. Barty was beaten by Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, whilst Konta was beaten by Donna Vekic in straight sets. In general it has been Barty that has been in the much better form over the last few months, highlighted by a semi-final showing in Montreal and a run to the fourth round at the US Open.

Barty holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. The most recent match between the pair took place in the Nottingham final earlier this year, a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win for Barty. Barty also beat Konta in Wuhan last year on route to the final, a match that ended in a third set tiebreak.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Johanna Konta, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

A blockbuster first round clash in New York sees the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia take on British number 1: Johanna Konta. This is a brutal opening round draw for both, Konta is certainly one of the most dangerous unseeded players in this year’s US Open draw. Konta has had the edge in this match-up of late, winning 3 of the last 4 matches between the pair, but Garcia has generally been the more impressive of the two of late.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia brings decent form into the final Grand Slam of the year. Garcia had a couple of good wins in Montreal and New Haven where she reached the quarter-finals. Garcia is undoubtedly capable of causing a lot of damage at the highest level but she still struggles with inconsistency. Garcia has made it to the third round in the last couple of years in New York and will be aiming to go a couple of steps further in 2018 as the 6th seed.

Johanna Konta will be competing at a Grand Slam event without being seeded for the first time in a while. Perhaps this will be a favourable position for Konta as there is certainly far less pressure on her at the moment. Konta played 4 events in the lead-up to the US Open, her best result was a quarter-final showing in San Jose where she thrashed Serena Williams. Konta arrives in New York fresh from a second round withdrawal in New Haven last week due to a viral illness.

Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Garcia. The pair met on two occasions in 2017, both went the distance. Garcia defeated Konta in a final set tiebreak in Indian Wells whilst most recently Konta won 7-6 4-6 6-4 at Wimbledon.

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Serena Williams vs. Johanna Konta, San Jose R1 Preview

Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, San Jose R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (6) Serena Williams vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

The pick of the opening round matches at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose sees Serena Williams take on Johanna Konta. Serena Williams will be in action for the first time since her runner-up appearance at Wimbledon last month. Johanna Konta looms as a tough opening round test for the American, It will be interesting to see what type of level Serena brings to this tournament.

Serena Williams came agonizingly close to creating some more history at Wimbledon last month as she made it all the way to the final. However, Serena was totally outplayed in the final against Angelique Kerber, an uncharacteristically uncompetitive performance by Serena on the biggest stage. Nevertheless, the signs are good for Serena just a couple of months into her return, she will be aiming to claim a couple of titles back at home over the next few months.

Johanna Konta had a relatively poor grass court swing, a second round exit at the hands of Dominika Cibulkova at Wimbledon was a big blow for Konta who was defending semi-finalist points. The pressure is now off Konta, she is outside the top 30 and doesn’t have big chunks of points to defend, perhaps she can return to her best whilst the pressure is off.

The only previous match between the pair took place at the Australian Open in 2017. The match loomed as a blockbuster quarter-final between the two form players on tour but Serena proved to be a class above Konta, winning quite comfortably 6-2 6-3.

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Johanna Konta vs. Dominika Cibulkova, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 (22) Johanna Konta vs. 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova

The pick of the second round match-ups on Thursday at Wimbledon sees British number 1 Johanna Konta take on the always-dangerous Dominika Cibulkova. This is a tough early round test for both ladies, both have made it to the final stages of Grand Slams in the past and would both be deeply unsatisfied with a second round exit. Who can step up their game and claim a big early round scalp?

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in action during her first round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Konta came through a dramatic opening round clash at SW19. The 22nd seed was seemingly cruising to a fairly straightforward victory when she led Natalia Vikhlyantseva by a set and a break but things got complicated on route to a 7-5 7-6 victory. Konta saved a couple of set points at 4-5 before squandering a 6-2 lead in the tiebreak, eventually sealing the victory on her 6th attempt. Konta made it all the way to the semi-finals in London last year, the pressure is on Konta to replicate that run as the only real British hope in the women’s draw.

Dominika Cibulkova is two-time former quarter-finalist at Wimbledon and is in desperate need of a deep run at a major to revitalize her career. The Slovakian has had an unspectacular season but is as determined as ever to turn things around. Cibulkova started her Wimbledon campaign with 7-6 6-1 victory over Alize Cornet. Cibulkova was down for most of the opening set but once she fought back to take the set in a tiebreak she completely overpowered Cornet in the second, a good win for the 29-year-old.

Konta holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Cibulkova. The most recent match between the pair took place in Cincinnati in 2017, Konta claimed a 6-3 6-4 win on that occasion. This will be their first career meeting on a grass court and their first meeting at a Grand Slam.

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Johanna Konta vs. Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇬🇧 (22) Johanna Konta vs. 🇷🇺 Natalia Vikhlyantseva

British number 1 Johanna Konta begins her 2018 Wimbledon campaign with a fairly favourable first round clash with Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva. 12 months ago Konta became the first British woman to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon since 1978. However, her form has deteriorated since then, she will likely have a tough time defending those semi-final points over the next few weeks.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain in action during the second round at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Konta showed glimpses of what she is capable of on grass in the lead up to Wimbledon. Konta started her grass court campaign with a strong run to the final in Birmingham but did suffer early round exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Nevertheless, those early round losses were to the eventual champions, a first round exit at the hands of Petra Kvitova in Birmingham and a 3 set loss to Caroline Wozniacki in Eastbourne.

Natalia Vikhlyantseva has been touted as one of the more talented young players on tour, however she is having a poor season and brings bad form into the third Grand Slam of the year. The Russian stumbled at the opening round hurdle in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham. In a better result, Vikhlyantseva managed to get through the qualifying draw before succumbing to Su-Wei Hsieh in straight sets

This will be the first career meeting between the pair. The pressure is on Konta here, how will she handle the occasion?

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Johanna Konta, Eastbourne R3 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R3 Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇬🇧 (13) Johanna Konta

The pick of the third round matches at the Nature Valley Intentional in Eastbourne on Wednesday sees the top seeded Caroline Wozniacki take on the 13th seed and British number 1: Johanna Konta. The Britt comfortably defeated Wozniacki in their only two previous encounters. However, the reigning Australian Open champion will fancy her chances of a maiden win over Konta, it is Wozniacki who has generally been in far better form in 2018.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki was the runner-up in Eastbourne 12 months ago, she will be hoping to go one step further in 2018. The top seed is starting her grass court campaign this week in Eastbourne, the 27-year-old made a decent start to the tournament with a commanding 6-2 6-3 win over the potentially-dangerous Camila Giorgi.

Johanna Konta has already played quite a bit of tennis on grass over the last few weeks. Konta started her grass court campaign a few weeks ago where she was beaten in the final by Ash Barty in 3 sets. Konta received a brutal draw in Birmingham, beaten by eventual champion: Petra Kvitova in the first round. Konta is defending semi-finalist points at Wimbledon so the pressure is really starting to mount on the Britt.

Konta holds a 2-0 H2H record over Wozniacki. Konta easily disposed of Wozniacki in their two prior matches, both in 2017, a 6-3 6-1 win at the Australian Open and a 6-4 6-3 win in Miami. Wozniacki is a different player now and will be keen to show that in this match-up.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Johanna Konta, Birmingham R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

The pick of the opening round matches at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham sees defending champion: Petra Kvitova take on Britain’s number 1: Johanna Konta. This is a tough match for Kvitova to start her title defense in Birmingham, Konta brings good form into this event having reached the final in Nottingham last week. This should be an exciting encounter between two players that excel on the grass, who will prevail?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic practices at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

It was in Birmingham 12 months ago where Kvitova won her first title after that terrible home invasion incident. Petra has not looked back since then, the 2-time Wimbledon champion sits at number 3 in the Race to Singapore standings and looms as one of the favourites at SW19 in a few weeks’ time. This will be Kvitova’s first event on grass in 2018, her first event since a disappointing third round exit at Roland Garros having won back-to-back titles in the lead-up to Paris.

Johanna Konta arrives in Birmingham fresh off disappointment in the Nottingham final for a second year in a row. Konta was once again beaten in a close final in Nottingham, beaten by Ashleigh Barty in 3 sets. Nevertheless, it was still a good week for Konta given it was her first final of 2018 and she was able to get some good wins under her belt. There was an incident with the umpire late in the third set which seemed to ultimately derail Konta, it will be interesting to see how she recovers in Birmingham just a few days later.

Kvitova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. The most recent match between the pair took place in Wuhan in 2016, Kvitova won that match 6-3 6-4. It was Konta who their only previous match on a grass court, a 5-7 6-4 6-0 victory in Eastbourne in 2016.

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Johanna Konta vs. Donna Vekic, Nottingham SF Preview

Nature Valley Open, Nottingham SF Preview
🇬🇧 (4) Johanna Konta vs. 🇭🇷 (6) Donna Vekic

Johanna Konta and Donna Vekic will renew hostilities when they meet in Saturday’s second semi-final at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham. Konta and Vekic established an intriguing rivalry during the grass court swing last year. It all started in Nottingham where Vekic upset Konta to win the title 12 months ago, Konta will be keen for revenge here and heads into this match in great form.

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Johanna Konta has breezed into her first semi-final of the year. The Brit has not dropped a set on route to the final 4, Konta has claimed wins over Kurumi Nara, Heather Watson and Dalila Jakupovic. Konta certainly has a great game for this surface, the 27-year-old possess one of the best serves on tour which sets her up for success on the grass.

Donna Vekic has done well to reach the semi-finals in Nottingham in her quest to defend her title. Vekic started the week with a nervy performances, requiring a third set tiebreak to defeat Gabriella Taylor. The Croatian has been more impressive in her last couple of matches as she defeated Vera Lapko and Mona Barthel in straight sets to reach her first semi-final of the year.

Konta holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Vekic. The pair played two epic matches on grass last year. Vekic defeated Konta 2-6 7-6 7-5 in the Nottingham final before Konta won an even more dramatic match at Wimbledon a few weeks later, a 7-6 4-6 10-8 victory.

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