British No. 1 Johanna Konta got her first win in the lead up to the last Slam of the year easing past Kiki Bertens. The Dutch player has had a couple of very strong years on the tour, hitting a career high earlier this year, and has a very good all-court game so this could never be treated as a foregone conclusion.
Konta suffered her first loss against Ekaterina Makarova in their fifth encounter, but she acknowledged in press this week that she was coming up against a player in form, having just won the title in Washington at the start of this swing.
“Obviously I didn’t stay as long as I wanted to in Toronto. However I do take the good things from my match there. I played against a very in-form Ekaterina [Makarova], she had just come off the back of winning Washington so she was coming into that match with something that I didn’t have which was match routine, and getting those matches on the hard courts.
“I felt I actually did quite well compared to the fact it was my first match on the hard. I felt I played myself into that match quite well and competed pretty well. Obviously there’s things I would have wanted to do better but again I was one point away from coming through that match, so I didn’t do too much wrong.”
Konta played her trademark aggressive game, breaking early in the first set and holding on to that advantage to close out the lead. She started with equal vigour in the second set, but Bertens took advantage of a little wobble to break back, prompting Konta to hit back straight away, breaking to love to close out the match.
As Konta said, it was all about getting time on court ahead of New York.
“I was aware she was going to be serving big, hitting big so definitely trying to neutralise that as well as possible, but then also looking to really impose myself and to take time away, look to really dictate as much as possible.”
She said: Well [Cibulkova’s] an incredible competitor. I know going into that match that it will be a battle, every single point. That’s what got her to winning the tour end championships so she’s a great player who’s been at the top end of the game for a long time.”
While she is tied 1-1 against the Slovakian, it would be a first time meeting against the Frenchwoman.
Konta continued: “Definitely very similar in terms of the competitiveness quality. I guess slightly different game style wise, but equally – I don’t think Ive played her. “I will be definitely going into the match knowing I’m going to be having to fight every single point and really try to look to just play my own game from the very first ball to the very last.”
Konta will play her third round match on Thursday.
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