ASB Classic, Auckland Final
(8) ?? Ana Konjuh vs ?? Lauren Davis
A maiden WTA title is up for grabs on Saturday at the ASB Classic in Auckland when Ana Konjuh comes up against Lauren Davis, Ana Konjuh will be competing for her second WTA title whilst Lauren Davis will be looking to capture her very first WTA title. At 19 years of age Konjuh will be competing in her second WTA final whilst Lauren Davis will be contesting her third WTA final. Both ladies battled through tough three set matches at the semi-final stage and have both played quality tennis this week in Auckland.
It has been a topsy-turvy week for Ana Konjuh is Auckland but she now finds herself in the best position of her young career to win a title. Konjuh’s first match of the season was a tough one against Kirsten Flipkens, the Croatian survived a slight injury scare and a rain delay to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win. Konjuh was forced to play a second match in one day after the completion of her rain interrupted first round match, Konjuh stormed though that match 6-1 6-2 over Yanina Wickmayer. The rising-star benefited from the retirement of Naomi Osaka early in their quarter-final clash before securing her spot in the final with an impressive 6-3 4-6 6-4 win over Julia Goerges. Konjuh showed great composure throughout the final set to hold onto a slender lead and finished the match off strong, seemingly heading into the final full of momentum.
Lauren Davis seems to thrive in Auckland. The American has made a couple of semi-finals in Auckland and is now into her first final at the event. Davis has caused a few upsets on route to the final, starting with a straight set win over Kiki Bertens. Davis backed that win up with a comfortable straight set win over Kurumi Nara before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far at the quarter-final stage where she beat Barbora Strycova 6-1 7-6. Davis bossed Strycova around the court for the majority of the match and was a deserving winner. The American secured her spot in the final in bizarre fashion, Davis seemed to be in trouble after losing the first set to Jelena Ostapenko and taking a medical timeout for a thigh issue. However, The American kept fighting and ultimately took advantage of Ostapenko’s level dropping. The Latvian would retire 1-4 down in the final set to hand Davis the win.
Lauren Davis won the only previous match between the pair, a 2-6 6-2 6-2 win in Auckland in 2014. Konjuh has obviously improved quite dramatically since that match and is now much more experienced despite only being 19 years of age.
The edge must go to Konjuh heading into this final. Konjuh has more weapons at her disposal, a great serve, thunderous groundstrokes off both sides and delicate touch. Davis is a better mover but Konjuh is no slouch, however the American’s movement may be hampered by injury as she was dealing with a thigh injury in her semi-final match. Overall Konjuh seems to be the healthier of the two heading into the final, has a greater game and probably a greater mentality. All signs point to one winner.