Johanna Konta in the first round of Wimbledon 2019
Johanna Konta in the first round of Wimbledon 2019 | (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Tennis | WTA Cincinnati 2019 | Konta looks to blow rust away in Cincy opener

By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [14] v Rebecca Peterson | First meeting
CINCINNATI, USA – Johanna Konta will look to move on from a rusty start to the hard-court season in Toronto.


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Johanna Konta [14] v Rebecca Peterson | First meeting

British No. 1 Johanna Konta arrives with certainly a lot of time to get some practice in after being edged out in her Toronto opener, in her first match back after reaching the Roland Garros semi-final and then the Wimbledon quarter-final.

It has been a welcome return to form for the Brit, but there was very much work to do as she looked a little rusty against Dayana Yastremska in her hard-court return. Perhaps the draw has been a little kinder, starting her off against qualifier Rebecca Peterson.

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Ordinarily the hard-court is where we see Konta at her thundering aggressive best, steady serve and generally consistent off both wings. The mental frailties and lack of confidence we saw throughout the latter half of 2017 and last year were all but dispelled during a breakthrough clay court season for Konta, where she reached two (count them!) clay court finals on the tour and the semi-final of Roland Garros, before backing that up with a run to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Although in the crunch moments there were times when she just wavered in sight of the finish line, surely what is more important is getting used to being in those positions in Slams? That being said, she needs to go better than her first round exit here last year.

In Rebecca Peterson, she has a player who is making steady progress on the tour, but is still looking for that big consistent run, often good for one or two main draw wins. Of course she comes in with a couple of matches in Cincinnati under her belt, and Konta will really have to hit the ground running this time.

Peterson packs a pretty impressive forehand, and interestingly much like Konta, has worked a lot on the mental side of her game as well and tries not to attach too much to the results, instead looking at how to improve. From Konta’s perspective, she needs to have that serve firing – when it does everything else in her game tends to fall in line.

Prediction: Konta in straight sets.


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