MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 09: Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays a backhand in her Women's Singles first round match against Kaja Juvan of Slovenia during day two of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 09, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Tennis | WTA Phillip Island Trophy | Johanna Konta  v Aliaksandra Sasnovich | Preview & Prediction
The big question is just how well as Johanna Konta recovered from an abdominal injury that she picked up after winning the first set and a couple of games into her first-round match at the Australian Open. She had felt the injury early in the first set, and by the second set, it was hampering her so badly she pulled the rip cord and could not even determine if she would be ready to compete in the forthcoming Fed Cup tie.
Now here she is in the third of the WTA tournaments to be held in Melbourne as part of the Summer Series. Up next for her is Aliaksandra Sasnovich who, like Konta, has yet to record back-to-back wins this year.
Konta comes into this match-up a lot less cooked than Sasnovich although neither are in the best of form to be honest. When Konta faced her on the way to her biggest title to date in Miami, she was really at the peak of her game, but it might be worth pointing out that since she has been working with Dimitri Zavialoff she has been better at figuring out her opponents play, and mixing up hers.
With Konta, if her serve is on fire, then the rest of her game gains confidence. But it all comes down to that abdominal strain. You would have to assume that she feels comfortable enough to take to the court to put herself in the draw, but Sasnovich likes to mix things up and not just brainlessly batter the ball.
Konta can probably grab a few free points if her serve is going well, but Sasnovich will look to make her move, as she likes to follow her shots into the net, but is also fond of building up her points, which makes this quite a tough one to call.
Konta will need to try and keep this one short, as you would have to favour the Belarusian if this goes longer.
Prediction: Konta in straight sets.
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