Serena Williams vs Johanna Konta, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open, ?? Quarter-Final #4 match preview
(9) ?? Johanna Konta vs (2) ?? Serena Williams

The most anticipated match of the tournament thus far will take place on Wednesday when 6-time former champion Serena Williams comes up against Johanna Konta. Konta and Williams have both advanced to the final eight stage without dropping a set. The Brit is the form player on the tour at the moment, clearly playing the best tennis in the last couple of weeks, having absolutely dominated some quality opponents. This will be the first ever match between Serena and Johanna, it will be very interesting to see how Konta’s game matches up against the almighty Serena Williams.

Johanna Konta is in stunning form. Konta enters this huge quarter-final clash having won nine matches in a row (all in straight sets) having won the title in Sydney a few weeks ago before powering through her first four matches at Melbourne Park. Konta was not quite at her best in her first two matches at the Australian Open but her supreme concentration and determination saw her through matches against Kirsten Flipkens and Naomi Osaka. In the third round Konta produced some scintillating tennis to thrash Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-1, Konta blasted 31 winners past the Dane in two quick sets. Konta secured her spot in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for a second straight year with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Makarova, another great match by the amazingly consistent Konta.

Much was made of Serena’s extremely tough draw through the opening stage in Melbourne. However, Serena comfortably moved past Belinda Bencic and Lucie Safarova in her first few matches. Serena breezed past Nicole Gibbs 6-1 6-3 before confirming her spot in the quarter-finals in Melbourne for an eleventh time with a scrappy 7-5 6-4 win against Barbora Strycova. Serena’s performance against Strycova was her most alarming of the week, the world number two served extremely poorly and made a huge amount of uncharacteristic unforced errors from the baseline. Nevertheless, it was a positive that Serena could come through that match with her main weapons misfiring, however that is unlikely to be the case if she produces a similar level against Konta.


There is no doubt that Johanna Konta is playing the much better tennis heading into this match, the statistics confirm this. Serena’s main weapon (her forehand) is not what it usually is. Throughout the tournament, Serena has hit 36 forehand winners and 64 forehand unforced errors. Compared to the 2016 Australian Open where Serena hit 77 forehand winners and 58 forehand unforced errors. Conversely, Konta has been far more even, hitting just 33 forehand unforced errors through her first four matches. Another problem for Serena is her double fault tally, at 17 over four matches it already exceeds her 2016 tally in Melbourne over seven matches. Serena needs to serve better against Konta, because the Brit is looking so secure behind her own serve.

All the statistics point to a victory for Konta, the Brit is serving better and is far more solid from the baseline. However, playing against Serena is a totally different story and it is unknown how Konta will hold up in this match-up. Serena is well aware of the threat Konta presents and will almost certainly dramatically raise her level and intensity for this huge match. I have to side with Serena but I would not be surprised to see Konta win this match.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Johanna Konta in 3 sets

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