NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays smash shot against Nina Stojanovic of Serbia during the Viking Open women's semi-finals match on day eight at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 12, 2021 in Nottingham, England.
Tennis | WTA Montreal 2021 | Harriet Dart joins Johanna Konta in main draw in their return to the tour
Their stats are quite close with the higher ranked Fernandez having been just a little more consistent overall, although Dart has proven to be just a little more clutch when it has counted o the hard courts this year.
Playing Styles & Prediction
Dart can target the lines and her shots have pace, depth, and precision and she comes in with two solid wins in qualies both times scrapping from a set down to get the win from players ranked higher than her.
She recently posted on social media that she had been in a dark place, but it looks as though that feisty fighting spirit is back.
Equally feisty is Fernandez who favours her forehand and likes to hug the baseline and hits out flat, but she can match Dart for pace as she likes to take the ball on the rise.
Expect this to be another three setter but it might be too much for Dart in terms of consistency, but should give the Brit some confidence as we approach the hard court autumn swing.
Prediction: Fernandez in three sets.
Johanna Konta v Zhang Shuai | H2H: Konta leads 6-1
Johanna Konta returns to the court in what has been a troubled year, with injuries, Covid and missing Wimbledon and the Olympics will see her in very rusty form as she is in a rematch with Zhang Shuai, who she beat in her last match, when she won the Nottingham title.
Surprisingly despite very little court time and a lot of turbulence in Konta’s year, her stats match up well to Zhang who had a very weak start to the year, and has recently started to find a little more consistency.
Playing Styles & Prediction
When Konta is serving well, the rest of her game slots right into place and it will be interesting to see how she starts after an extended time away from the tour. First she had to pull out of Wimbledon after being identified as a close contact when a member of her team contracted Covid, only to have to admit she too had contracted Covid herself, resulting in her having to withdraw from the Olympics.
Zhang regained a little form in the summer when she reached the Nottingham final, losing to Konta, and has picked up the pace a little since Wimbledon.
She will be sharper in terms of match fitness, and can match Konta in terms of groundstrokes, but Konta’s more aggressive style of play has always caused Zheng problems in the past. A lot depends though on how quickly Konta can get into her game.
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