In the second of the Apia International Sydney semi-finals, Great Britain’s Johanna Konta faces Eugenie Bouchard in an intriguing match on paper. They have played each other on one occasion at Wimbledon last year, where the Canadian came up with the win in three sets. The grass courts at SW19 is always a tournament where Bouchard tends to play well at. She is former finalist in the ladies event and also won the Wimbledon juniors, while Konta has struggled to bring her overall form into Wimbledon year upon year. This Sydney clash has a much different outlook for Konta.
The World No. 10 has now made back-to-back semi-finals on the WTA Tour, which suggests that she is playing true to form. For Konta, this year is all about consolidating her position in the Top 10 rankings and perhaps look beyond the Top 10 and target the Top 5 places, which would be a fabulous achievement for her. The second year after a serious breakthrough year can be challenging though. Bouchard would know all about that. The Canadian experienced a tremendous 2014, winning her first WTA title, making the semi-finals in the Australian Open and Roland Garros and progressing to her first major final at Wimbledon, but she struggled to maintain the consistency that took her to No.5 in the world that year.
Konta is the slight favourite in this match up. I think she is already showing positive signs for the Australian Open and looks to have benefited from the new appointment of coach Wim Fissette. This combination may turn out to be one of the best in 2017.
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