Johanna Konta vs. Heather Watson, US Open R1 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ???
?? (9) Johanna Konta vs. ?? Heather Watson

The British number 1 and British number 2 will do battle in the opening round of the 2020 US Open on Tuesday when the 9th seeded Johanna Konta takes on a resurgent Heather Watson. Konta holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Watson and heads into this clash as a strong favourite after a great run at the Western & Southern Open last week. On the other hand, Watson made a great start to the season and will fancy her chances of causing an upset if she can recapture that form.

Johanna Konta heads into this year’s US Open as one of the form players after a strong showing at the Western & Southern Open last week where she made the semi-finals. Konta stormed through her first 3 matches of the event without dropping a set or dropping serve in wins over Kirsten Flipkens, Vera Zvonareva and Maria Sakkari. Konta’s run ended in the final 4 where she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka in 3 sets. Konta has an impressive recent record at Grand Slam events, the 29-year-old reached at least the quarter-final stage in 3 of the last 4 major events, including a quarter-final run at Flushing Meadows last year.

Watson has a very poor record at Grand Slam events. Watson’s record at the US Open is troubling, Watson has never won a single main draw match in 8 previous attempts. Watson has played in a couple of events since the tour restart, both ended in opening round losses, a straight set loss to Jennifer Brady in Lexington, followed by a 3-set loss to Bernarda Pera at the Western & Southern Open last week. Watson will be keen to recapture some of her early season form which was her reach the semi-finals in Hobart and win her fourth career title in Acapulco.

Konta has handled Watson nicely in their two previously completed matches. Konta defeated Watson 6-4 6-4 in Indian Wells in 2017, more recently Konta prevailed 6-4 7-6 in Nottingham in 2018.

Recent form, history at majors and past head-to-head record all suggest a comfortable win for Konta here. However, the counter-punching ability of Watson does have the potential to cause Konta some problems, both of their previous matches were fairly close, the potential is there. Nevertheless, Konta is full of confidence at the moment after a great run last week and her previous success at major events, Konta is too strong for Watson in all departments, Watson will need to hope Konta has an off day in order to make this one competitive.

Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Heather Watson in 2 sets
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Johanna Konta vs. Victoria Azarenka, CincyTennis SF Preview

?? Western & Southern Open – SF Preview + Prediction: ?
?? (8) Johanna Konta vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka

An intriguing semi-final clash from the Western & Southern Open sees the 8th seeded Johanna Konta take on a resurgent Victoria Azarenka. Expect a tough contest between two damaging baseline hitters and two in form players, neither have dropped a set this week and both will enter this clash full of confidence.

Johanna Konta has cruised into the final 4 at Flushing Meadows. Konta started the week with a 6-2 6-0 win over Kirsten Flipkens followed by a 6-4 6-2 win over Vera Zvonareva. Konta secured her spot in the final 4 with a clinical 6-4 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari. Konta is yet to drop serve all tournament, the Brit saved the only two break points she has faced over her first 3 matches this week in her win over Sakkari, a dominant serving record.

Victoria Azarenka is having one of her best weeks on tour in many years. Azarenka started the event with a 6-2 6-3 win over Donna Vekic, followed by a 6-2 7-6 win over Caroline Garcia, a pair of opponents Azarenka had never previously beaten. The former number 1 followed up those victories with a 6-4 7-5 win over Alize Cornet and an especially hard-fought 7-6 6-2 win over Ons Jabeur, Azarenka saved 4 set points in a high quality, intense opening set against the Tunisian before running away with the match in the second.

The pair have split their two previously completed matches. Azarenka won 6-4 6-2 in Indian Wells back in 2016, whilst Konta prevailed 6-3 6-1 in their most recent match-up in Montreal in 2018.

Whilst I have been impressed with Azarenka’s performances this week, I think this is where her run comes to an end. At this stage in their respective careers it is Konta who should have the edge from the baseline and on serve. Konta has the more dynamic game from the baseline and enjoys these types of match-ups where she can feed off the pace off Azarenka but not be overpowered. Konta also has the far more consistent serve, which will allow her to get on top of most rallies. Azarenka is in great form and will of course put up a great fight, should be a close match.

Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Victoria Azarenka in 3 sets

Johanna Konta vs. Maria Sakkari, CincyTennis QF Preview

?? Western & Southern Open – QF Preview + Prediction:
?? (8) Johanna Konta vs. ?? (13) Maria Sakkari

The fourth and final quarter-final of the day at the Western & Southern Open sees the 8th seeded Johanna Konta take on the 13th seeded Maria Sakkari In New York.

Johanna Konta received a bye through round one before storming through her first couple of matches at Flushing Meadows. Konta started the event with a 6-2 6-0 win over Kristen Flipkens before defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-4 6-2. An important couple of wins for Konta given she lost to Maria Bouzkova in straight sets in her return event in Lexington a few weeks ago.

Maria Sakkari also claimed a pair of straight set wins in her first few matches of the event. Sakkari defeated Cori Gauff 6-1 6-3 before defeating Yulia Putintseva 6-4 7-6. Sakkari’s biggest win came in the third round as she defeated Serena Williams 5-7 7-6 6-1 in what was a strange match. Sakkari was down and out on a few occasions in the second set but managed to stick around and snatch the second set. Sakkari didn’t need to do much in the third set as Williams imploded on the other side of the net.

Konta holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Sakkari. The most recent meeting between the pair took place on grass in Eastbourne last year, Konta won that match 6-4 7-6. Sakkari’s only previous victory over the Brit was on clay in the Rabat final last year, a 2-6 6-4 6-1 victory.

This is a tough match to call, probably the most evenly matched quarter-final of the day. I’m going to give the slight edge to Sakkari. It’s hard to read much into Konta’s victories this week, she was never really tested, Sakkari will test the Brit. Sakkari has come through some tough situations on a few occasions this week and that could give her the edge in what should be a close match. Sakkari showed against Williams that she can live with power from the other side of the net and then attack when she has the chance, a similar approach will be needed to get the win here.

Prediction: Maria Sakkari to defeat Johanna Konta in 3 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Johanna Konta, US Open QF Preview

???? US OPEN, QF match preview
?? (5) Elina Svitolina vs. ?? (16) Johanna Konta

Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta will both be aiming to reach a second Grand Slam semi-final in 2019 when they go head-to-head in Tuesday’s first quarter-final at Flushing Meadows. Svitolina and Konta both enter this match in great form, both took down quality opposition in the previous round and will be full of confidence. It is Svitolina who holds a dominant record over the Brit, can the British number 1 flip the script on this occasion?

Elina Svitolina has cruised into her first US Open quarter-final without dropping a set. Svitolina moved through the first week with easy wins over Whitney Osuigwe, Venus Williams and Dayana Yastremska. Svitolina’s most impressive performance came at the fourth round stage where she defeated an in-form Madison Keys 7-5 6-4. Svitolina did not face a single break point against Keys, in fact she wasn’t even taken to deuce in a service game or behind in a service game at any point.

Johanna Konta is through to a third consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, an outstanding effort from the British number 1. Konta’s pathway to the final 8 hasn’t been easy. The 16th seed required 3 sets to get through a tricky opening round matchup with Daria Kasatkina before thrashing Margarita Gasparyan and Shuai Zhang. Konta’s biggest win also came at the fourth round stage where she fought from a set and a break down to defeat the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-7 7-5 6-3, a gutsy win by Konta over one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Svitolina holds a perfect 4-0 record over Konta. The most recent meeting between the pair took place at the Rogers Cup last year where Svitolina won 6-3 6-4.

I expect Svitolina to maintain her unbeaten record over Konta. The head-to-head record doesn’t lie, this is a good matchup for Svitolina and a bad matchup for Konta. Svitolina’s tenacity and consistency from the baseline will make life very tough for Konta, especially given how well Svitolina has served of late. If Svitolina serves well then she will win this match, she will win the majority of the baseline exchanges. The 5th seed is currently looking like the player that won the WTA Finals last year, on that form she is so hard to beat. Konta usually stumbles at this stage of a major.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Johanna Konta in 2 sets

Johanna Konta vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros SF Preview

???? Roland Garros, SF Preview
?? (26) Johanna Konta vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

An unexpected semi-final match-up at Roland Garros sees the 28th seeded Johanna Konta take on 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova. The stakes couldn’t be much higher, Konta and Vondrousova will both be aiming to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Both players enter this match full of confidence having claimed successive straight set wins over quality opposition to reach this stage of the tournament, who will prevail?

Johanna Konta is having an unbelievably good clay court season for someone who has never previously even won a main draw match in Paris. It all started in Marrakech where Konta reached her first clay court final before reaching the final in Rome last month. Konta has carried her strong form into Paris where she has played some devastating tennis. The British number 1 navigated her way through the first week of the event with wins over Antonia Lottner, Lauren Davis and Viktoria Kuzmova, Konta’s 3 set win over Davis was the only match she has dropped a set this tournament. Konta’s two most recent victories have been especially impressive, a 6-2 6-4 win over the 23rd seeded Donna Vekic before crushing the 7th seeded Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4 in a near-flawless serving display.

Marketa Vondrousova has swept through the draw In Paris without dropping a single set to reach the final 4 of a Grand Slam for the first time. The unseeded Czech started the event with wins over Yafan Wang and Anastasia Potapova before beating 3 seeded opponent in a row. Vondrousova cruised past the 28th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-4 before crushing the 12th seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-0. Vondrousova’s greatest challenge came at the quarter-final stage where she battled past the 31st seeded Petra Martic 7-6 7-5 in what was a gruelling match that lasted exactly 2 hours. Vondrousova now gets a change at revenge against Johanna Konta, an opponent she recently lost to in Rome.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Vondrousova defeated Konta 7-6 6-4 in Indian Wells last year whilst more recently Konta claimed a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory in Rome last month. Konta’s recent win over Vondrousova on clay gives her the slight edge heading into this match but Vondrousova will fancy her chances on this occasion.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Johanna Konta, Roland Garros QF Preview

???? Roland Garros, QF Preview
?? (7) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? (26) Johanna Konta

Sloane Stephens and Johanna Konta will renew hostilities when they go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros. This will be the third career meeting between the pair, interestingly it was Johanna Konta who won both of those matches, both earlier this year. Nevertheless, it is the American who heads into this match as the slight favourite, last year’s runner-up is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw and will fancy her chances of reaching back-to-back finals in Paris.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

The 7th seeded Sloane Stephens hasn’t always had things her own way on rote to the final 8 in Paris. Stephens overcame strong late resistance in all 3 of her matches in the first week of the event. Stephens managed to escape with straight set wins over Misaki Doi and Sara Sorribes Tormo but was not so fortunate against Polona Hercog where she failed to serve out the match before eventually claiming a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory. The 2017 US Open champion produced her best performance of the tournament at the round of 16 stage where she comfortably beat Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-3 to announce herself as a genuine contender at Roland Garros.

Johanna Konta arrives in Paris having never won a main draw match at Roland Garros, Konta had previously lost 4 times at the opening round stage. However, Konta did arrives in Paris in great form having recently reached the Rome final and has continued that strong form in Paris. Konta broke her Paris duck with a straight set win over Antonia Lottner before battling past Lauren Davis in 3 sets. Konta produced a couple of clinical performances to secure a spot in the final 8, beating Viktoria Kuzmova and Donna Vekic in straight sets. To be fair, Konta has had a favourable draw, Stephens will provide her biggest test yet in the next round, an opponent Konta has actually had recent success against.

Konta holds a perfect 2-0 record over Stephens. The pair met for the first time in Brisbane at the start of the year, Konta won 6-4 6-3, more recently Konta prevailed 6-7 6-4 6-1 on the clay in Rome. Nevertheless, facing Stephens at a Grand Slam is likely to be a much tougher test for Konta, can the American make it third time lucky against the Brit?

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Johanna Konta vs. Lauren Davis, Roland Garros R2 Preview

???? Roland Garros, R2 Preview
?? (26) Johanna Konta vs. ?? (wc) Lauren Davis

Johanna Konta continues her Roland Garros campaign on Thursday with a second round clash against America’s Lauren Davis. A red-hot Konta finally broke her Roland Garros duck with an opening round win against Antonia Lottner and will be a fairly strong favourite in this match-up against the American wild card. However, Davis is also in good form at the moment, can the American cause an upset?

Lauren Davis of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Konta is playing the best tennis of her career on clay. The British number 1 arrived in Paris fresh from a runner-up showing in Rome, her best ever result on a clay court. Konta also reached the final in Rabat earlier this year on clay, overall Konta boasts an impressive 11-3 win/loss record on the red dirt in 2019. Konta kick-started her 2019 Roland Garros campaign with a 6-4 6-4 win over Antonia Lottner, her first ever main draw win at Roland Garros in her fifth attempt.

Lauren Davis made the most of her main draw wild card in the opening round as she easily defeated Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 6-4. Davis went through her opening round match without dropping serve but it must be said that Pliskova offered little to no resistance, Davis will face a much tougher test against an in form Konta in the next round. Davis also brings good momentum into this match having arrives in Paris fresh from winning the ITF 100K event in Bonita Springs a few weeks ago.

Konta holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Davis, this will be their first ever meeting at the tour level.

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Su-Wei Hsieh vs. Johanna Konta, Indian Wells R2 Preview

??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
?? (27) Su-Wei Hsieh vs. ?? Johanna Konta

Su-Wei Hsieh and Johanna Konta will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The 27th seeded Hsieh received a bye through the opening round whilst Konta progressed to the second round with a straight set win over Pauline Parmentier. This has been a competitive rivalry in recent times, expect another tight tussle here.

Su-Wei Hsieh continues to climb up the WTA rankings. Hsieh has made a good start to the 2019 season having already reached a couple of semi-finals, including a run to the final 4 in Dubai a few weeks ago where she claimed notable wins over Anastasija Sevastova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova before succumbing to Petra Kvitova in 3 sets.

Johanna Konta has produced some good performances in 2019 but ultimately has struggled to consistently play at the level that saw her reach a career high of number 4 in the rankings a few years ago. Konta arrives in Indian Wells fresh from a quarter-finals showing in Acapulco and made fairly light work of her first round match-up against Pauline Parmentier with a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Hsieh. Konta has comfortably won the last couple of matches between the pair, including a 6-0 6-4 win in Rome last year.

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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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