Johanna Konta - 2017 WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Konta bids for first Roland Garros R1 win against Hsieh – Preview


By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • Johanna Konta [7] v Su-Wei Hsieh
  • H2H: 1-1
PARIS, FRANCE – Johanna Konta will fly the flag solo for Great Britain as she kicks off her Roland Garros 2017 campaign against Su-Wei Hsieh.




Johanna Konta [7] v Su-Wei Hsieh – H2H: 1-1

Perhaps one of the advantages of not having played an opponent for a few years, with a tied head to head means you can effectively start from scratch. At least that is how British No. 1 and No. 7 seed Johanna Konta will view her opener.

She has had possibly her best (in relative terms) build up on clay this year. She may not have won many more matches than say this time last year, but she has had tougher matches against quality opposition, and that could well make the difference as she bids for her first main draw win at Roland Garros.

She said, in her pre-tournament press conference: “I’m really enjoying this part of the season. I think it’s giving me a lot of opportunity to grow as a player, as my game style on this surface, but also, as a competitor, as a person. I think it’s given me a great opportunity to mature. It gives me different challenges, and I think like I have said previously, the work that I’m putting in now also I believe will transfer into the grass and also the hard and throughout the few seasons that I have.”

Su-Wei Hsieh is a way adrift of her career best of No. 25 when she hit the Top 30 back in 2012, but her doubles prowess and movement around the court will stand her in good stead as she tries to disrupt Konta’s naturally aggressive style. That is not to say that Konta cannot move too, but we dare say her feel at the net is less solid than Hsieh.

She said: “I haven’t actually played her for a couple of years. I had only played her on grass and hard, so haven’t played her on this surface, either. So I think it will be going in there with quite a blank slate. Just a lot of different variables. And otherwise, again, will be mostly focusing on what I want to achieve out there and get as prepared as possible against her game.”

It will be a very different style of play – she hits the ball with two hands on both sides so will be very flat and allows her to open up angles. Konta can expect to be dragged left, right and forwards as she is pretty adept and drop shots & slices on the clay.

There may be 101 ranking positions between them but this is going to be a tough opener for Konta, and we can expect to her to work for her win.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

Featured Image Credit: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography