Johanna Konta headlines the British contingent for the WTA field for the 2017 US Open as she tries to mount a serious challenge for that first elusive Grand Slam title. She came away from Wimbledon with a lot of positivity, but also with things she needs to improve in order to evolve into a Grand Slam winner – something she is not that far from achieving because of the work she has put in with coach Wim Fissette.
The first opponent standing in the way of Konta for that US Open title is Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic. Some of Krunic’s greatest strengths is her quickness around the tennis court from deep behind the baseline. She cuts a diminutive figure on the court and is one of the more efficient movers on the WTA.
It is easy to forget that Krunic has happy memories at Flushing Meadows. She won her first Grand Slam main draw match at this event in 2014, where she made the fourth round, losing out to Victoria Azarenka in that match. So she enjoys the conditions at her most successful Grand Slam, but you have to feel that Konta’s big match experience and superior mentality on tennis’ grandest stage, will count for a lot in this first round matchup.
Prediction: Konta in two sets.
Heather Watson vs Alize Cornet H2H: Cornet leads 1-0
The second of two British women competing at this year’s US Open is Heather Watson. Her run of results since that memorable and commendable semi-final run at Eastbourne has been quite frustrating from a British perspective. A shoulder injury bothered her enormously during her stay in Toronto at the Rogers Cup and she has not quite notched up the wins that she would be craving for. Watson expects a lot of herself and understandably so.
Her first round opponent is France’s Alizé Cornet. It is difficult to gage what you are going to get from Cornet emotionally during her many tennis matches, but one thing that is for certain is that she is going to make you play a lot of balls. Sometimes she makes her opponent beat themselves. The Frenchwoman has won a total of ten matches against Top 10 opponents, so she knows her way around a tennis court and should be a difficult but winnable opener for Watson in the US Open first round.
The pair played in Washington hard courts four years ago, in which Cornet came out with the victory and I expect her to get the second win over Watson in this match.
Prediction: Cornet in three sets.
Watson & Cornet are scheduled on Court 4 at 11am (4pm BST), Konta & Krunic are scheduled on Grandstand Court, not before 1pm (6pm BST).
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