It is an understatement to say that it has been a slow start to the year for British No. 1 Johanna Konta. Coming into Miami, she had won just one match in her season opener at the Gippsland trophy before snapping a three-match losing streak over Poland’s Magda Linette.
Konta threatened early with a break point chance in the first game but had to wait until the penultimate game to make it third time lucky for a lead, and then saving two break points on her own serve before sealing the first set.
The Brit made a fast start at the start of the second set but found herself pegged back in a set that saw chances for both to make their mark. But repeating the pattern of play from the first set, Konta broke once more before serving out to love to book her spot in the third round.
Preview: Konta  v Petra Kvitova  | H2H: Kvitova leads 3-2
After what felt like a stuttering start to the season for Petra Kvitova with early exits in Australia, she looked in imperious form especially in the Doha final where she coasted past the very much in-form Garbiñe Muguruza for the loss of just three games.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)
Johanna Konta  (WR 18)
Petra Kvitova  (WR 10)
Tournament Previous Best
QF (2014, 2019)
1st Serve Return Points Won %
Return Points Won %
Break Point Conversion %
Break Points Saved %
Total Points Won %
Having played less games, it is not surprising that Konta comes up short when it comes to looking at her strength in return games, but surprisingly they are well matched in terms of taking their break point chances and saving those against them.
Konta, who confirmed she would not be participating in the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup tie, needs to have a very good serving day against the tricky Czech leftie. Her game really slots into shape behind it, and if the courts are playing fast, it should suit her aggressive style of play right down to the ground.
Also looking to get some free points on her own well-placed serves will be Kvitova. She takes full advantage of her leftie serve, pulling her opponent well wide and then charging in for the winner. Her returns stats are something that Kvitova will need to take note of and can expect any weak serves to be suitably punished.
While Konta has changed up her game in the last couple of year to add a little more variety, Kvitova can conjure up angles to confound. Konta is not given to playing a naturally defensive game, and so it will really come down to whether Konta can outhit Kvitova. The Czech was not really tested against Alize Cornet, but if Konta is in aggressive form, she could make this a tough three-setter.
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