What a week this has been for Johanna Konta. The Brit is currently on a 16 match winning streak and is into the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. Before this tournament, Konta had only ever won one main draw singles match at a Grand Slam which came at the US Open back in 2012. This week, she has quadrupled her match wins to four at the Slams. Konta’s draw has not been easy at all; in the first round, she comfortably saw off Louisa Chirico before taking out two seeds, Garbiñe Muguruza and Andrea Petkovic. In the third round victory over Petkovic, Konta needed six match points before ultimately prevailing, 7-6(2) 6-3.
Konta’s recent run of form has been superb. I’ve been impressed with the way that she has translated her success from the ITF circuit to the main tour. Konta always had a solid game but it seems improvements in her mental application on court are really beginning to pay dividends. There were encouraging signs during the grass court season where she won three matches in Nottingham and Birmingham, and then reached the quarter-finals in Eastbourne, defeating Ekaterina Makarova and Muguruza before falling in three sets to the eventual champion, Belinda Bencic. Drawing Maria Sharapova in the first round of Wimbledon was rough luck.
Konta plays Petra Kvitova in the fourth round who continues to stroll through the draw… Colour me surprised! Petra has dropped just 12 games in three matches. In the third round she won, 6-2 6-1 in what looked to be a potentially tricky match against the in-form, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. The heat and humidity in New York is a nightmare for Petra but playing her matches early and late, and improved fitness seem to be helping the cause… plus she’s playing great!
Kvitova and Konta will meet for the first time on the WTA tour. This will most likely be Petra’s toughest match of the fortnight so far going up against an in-form player in Konta. Furthermore, Kvitova is seeking her first ever quarter-final at the US Open so there is plenty on the line for the Czech player. As the Brit moves deeper and deeper into unchartered territory, I think it will obviously get much tougher mentally. I could see Konta getting a set but i’d be surprised if she beat Kvitova. Also, being at night and on Ashe will most likely go in Petra’s favour.
Prediction: Kvitova d. Konta in 2 sets