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 Monterrey | Konta seals first win of season, Acapulco champ Watson out in R1

By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [2] def. Kim Clijsters [WC] 6-3, 7-5
  • Konta [2] v Tatjana Maria | First meeting
  • Tatjana Maria def. Heather Watson 6-7(4) 6-3 7-5
MONTERREY, MEXICO – Johanna Konta registered her first win of the season against four-time Slam champion Kim Clijsters, and faces Heather Watson‘s conqueror Tatjana Maria.


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Johanna Konta [2] def. Kim Clijsters [WC] 6-3, 7-5

British No. 1 Johanna Konta found form to register her first win of the season, as she defeated Kim Clijsters, who is on the second match of a much anticipated comeback.

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Konta, who pulled out a couple of tournaments to focus more on her training after lacking some confidence since the start of the year, put pressure on Clijsters but failed to convert on her first two break-point chances, but made no mistake on the two other opportunities, breaking the Belgian twice in a row.

The second set was a closer affair, but the four-time Grand Slam champion found herself having to deflect break points once more early in the set before lapsing right at the end as Konta broke for the win.

Interviewed on court, Konta said: “As a young player, I never thought I’d get to play Kim Clijsters in my career. I feel truly privileged and honoured to share the court with such a champion. It’s nice to have her back.

“It was very tough. She’s an incredible ball-striker. Her ability to do things with the ball is what made her a multiple Grand Slam champion. It’s why she was able to come back and play, in her second match back after seven years, at a level like this. That’s not exactly an everyday thing, that’s for sure. I feel so honoured to have played her, and really happy with my performance.”


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Konta [2] v Tatjana Maria | First meeting

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Next up will be Heather Watson’s conqueror, Tatjana Maria. It will be a first meeting for the pair as Konta prepares to take on another of the tour’s mothers.

Maria had to come back from Watson’s charges and could find herself having to do the same, if Konta has gained a little confidence after this performance.

Konta’s first serve percentage was pleasingly high and it is a sign that her game is fal;ling into place if she can be effectice behind her serve. Konta will be looking for plenty of free points in this regard, and probably packs a little more fire power than Watson did in this regard.

Maria comes into this just a little more consistent though than the British No. 1 but a win over a multi-Slam winner feels like a good start for the Brit.

Prediction: Konta in straight sets.


Tatjana Maria def. Heather Watson 6-7(4) 6-3 7-5

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Having already done the Mexico double in terms of title, the chance to do the double in the same year evadedWatson, as she was edged out in the decider by sometime doubles partner Maria.

To begin with, it looked to be plain sailing for Watson as she broke twice for a commanding 4-1 lead, even though Maria pegged her back for one of the breaks. There was a flurry of breaks as Maria halted Watson’s charge for the first set twice, forcing a tie-break.

Maria was the first to edge ahead in the tie-break and found herself losing a 4-1 advantage as Watson scrapped her way back. However, Maria broke twice at the end of the set to turn the tables on the British No. 2.

Watson, who at times struggled with some tightness in her arm had to fight hard to hold on to her serve at the start of the second set, breaking and then consolidating for a 3-0 lead. It was enough to keep Maria at bay for Watson to level the set.

She broke once more at the start of the decider and again built up a comfortable 4-1 lead, but Maria kept her patience and worked her way back into contention with two breaks to nullify the lead.

The German took her chance at the end of the set to break for a hard-fought win.

Konta and Maria will be scheduled on Thursday.


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