?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview
?? (7/wc) Johanna Konta vs ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Johanna Konta and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet in an interesting opening round clash at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday night. The 7th seeded Britt has taken a wild card into Dubai in an attempt to build on the momentum she ahs started to create in 2018. Konta will be a strong favourite heading into this first round match against Pavlyuchenkova, the Russian has made a terrible start to 2018 and is seemingly deprived of confidence right now.
Johanna Konta arrives in Dubai fresh off a decent week in Doha. Konta managed to reach the third round stage in Doha last week. Konta claimed straight set wins over Bernard Pera and Carla Suarez Navarro before succumbing to Angelique Kerber in 3 sets in what was a fairly high quality encounter. 2018 marks the first time Konta has competed in the Middle Eastern events, so this is a new experience for Konta competing in Dubai for the very first time.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has been one of the biggest disappointments in the first few months of 2018. Pavlyuchenkova ended 2017 in decent form with a platform set to push into the top 10 in 2018, however, the Russian is going in the opposite direction. Pavlyuchenkova has a very poor 1/6 win/loss record in 2018 including Hopman Cup matches. Pavlyuchenkova arrives in Dubai fresh off a first round defeat in Doha last week, a straight set loss to Dominika Cibulkova, which in fairness was a tough opening round draw.
Interestingly, Konta and Pavlyuchenkova have yet to do battle despite both competing at the same events over the last few years. Who will this match-up favour?