What rust we saw in Johanna Konta’s lead-up matches in Toronto and Montreal looked to be completely blown away as she charged through the first set against Daria Kasatkina, who has had her own issues this year with form.
Errors and double-faults leaked from the Russian as Konta looked clinical in the first set breaking Kasatkina straight away and then twice at the end of the first set. Konta’s form started to dip a little as Kasatkina sharpened up on the errors, and they started to creep in to the Brit’s games, and a loose game gave Kasatkina the advantage in the second set. There were chances for Konta to break back but failed to convert on four chances to peg Kasatkina back, as the Russian levelled.
The third set was a nervier affair from both with three successive breaks leaving Konta ahead 4-1 after she held and as the errors mounted once more for Kasatkina, she closed the match out with her first match point.
Konta is back in early action on Wednesday where she will face Margarita Gasparyan for the first time. Her second Russian in a row, Gasparyan’s year saw her best result at Istanbul this year reaching the semi-finals but retiring in the second set. Since then she has not had any back to back main draw wins and her win here snapped a five-match losing streak.
She can hold her own against Konta’s aggressive style of play with a powerful backhand in her armoury. However her forehand can be prone to break down and her movement at times has exposed her, so expect Konta to try and throw in her drop shots.
Prediction: Konta in straight sets.
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Harriet Dart had fought her way into her first main draw spot at the US Open, and came up against a fellow qualifier in Ana Bogdan. From the start Dart had to fend off a break point before Bogdan converted later in the match after three more attempts, and going on to break Dart for the first set.
Momentum was definitely on the side of the Romanian as she swiftly established herself in the second set breaking Dart twice for a 5-0 lead. Dart claimed back one game, saving a match point along the way, but Bogdan closed out the win on her third match point.
Konta and Gasparyan are scheduled on Grandstand Court at 11am (4pm BST).
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