Sitting pretty on a 14 match winning streak, Johanna Konta hasn’t lost a match since Wimbledon. After an excellent grass court season where her last three losses came against Maria Sharapova (Wimbledon), Belinda Bencic (Eastbourne) and Karolina Pliskova (Birmingham), Konta has gone on a superb run of form that has seen her crack the world’s top 100. The Brit won back-to-back ITF titles in Granby and Vancouver with top two 100 wins in the latter against Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens.
Konta kept the good run going with three wins in US Open qualifying and a first round win over Louisa Chirico, 6-3 6-0. Hands up, I called that one very badly wrong and didn’t give enough respect to Konta’s recent form. There were a couple of lengthy deuce games in the match which Konta won. The Brit also saved nine break points. The stats are a sign of a player with a lot of confidence right now.
On Tuesday, Garbiñe Muguruza won her first match since reaching the Wimbledon final with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Carina Witthoeft. In fact, it was Muguruza’s first ever win at the US Open. The Spaniard avoided the cull of seeds with a decent performance after two straight set losses in Toronto (to Lesia Tsurenko, 7-5 6-1) and Cincy (to Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-4 7-6). It was revealed last week that Muguruza had split with her long-term coach, Alejo Mancisidor. The timing seemed strange and it was a surprise, still so soon after her greatest triumph on tour.
Muguruza and Konta last played in Eastbourne where Konta scored a superb win, 6-4 4-6 6-3. Muguruza won their only other match which took place in Luxembourg in 2012, winning through 7-5 in the decider. This is a really dicey match-up for Muguruza against an in-form player withb buckets of confidence. In this run though, Konta has yet to play someone ranked within the world’s top 75. Although Konta will likely push Muguruza hard, i’d give the slight edge to the Spaniard who has raised her level significantly at the Slams this year.
Prediction: Muguruza d. Konta in 3 sets