Johanna Konta vs. Daria Kasatkina, US Open R1 Preview

???? US OPEN, R1 match preview
?? (16) Johanna Konta vs. ?? Daria Kasatkina

Johanna Konta will begin her 2019 US Open campaign with a potentially tricky first round meeting with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina. Konta has had a resurgent season headlined by a semi-final showing at Roland Garros and a quarter-final showing at Wimbledon. The US Open is now the only major where Konta hasn’t made it to the quarter-finals, can the British number 1 change that at Flushing Meadows in 2019?

Johanna Konta’s US Open preparation hasn’t been ideal. Konta suffered back-to-back opening round defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati, a straight set loss to Dayana Yastremska in Toronto was followed by a 3 set loss to Rebecca Peterson in Cincinnati. It has therefore been just over 5 months since Konta has won a match on a hard court, dating back to Miami, not ideal heading into the final Grand Slam of the year.

It has been a really tough season for Daria Kasatkina. However, the Russian is starting to show some small signs of a form reversal during the US Open series. Kasatkina hasn’t won back-to-back matches since Rome but has played a few good matches in recent times. Kasatkina defeated Angelique Kerber in Toronto before pushing eventual champion Bianca Andreescu deep into a third set. Kasatkina then beat an in-form Barbora Strycova in Cincinnati before succumbing to eventual champion Madison Keys.

Kasatkina holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. Kasatkina has won the last 2 meetings between the pair including a 6-4 6-3 victory on route to winning the Moscow title last year.

I’m going to go for the upset here and side with the Russian. It seems Kasatkina is due for a big win and Konta’s form slump may continue. Kasatkina will be relatively confident heading into this match having won the last two meetings between the pair and having played a good couple of matches in recent weeks. Kasatkina’s defensive skills and versatility can trouble Konta, especially early in a tournament when Konta is likely to be rusty having not won a hard court match in a long time.

Prediction: Daria Kasatkina to defeat Johanna Konta in 3 sets

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