Women’s Australian Open, 1st Round Preview for Tuesday: Venus Williams v Johanna Konta

 

Johanna Konta

A Wuhan rematch awaits in the first round for Venus Williams and Johanna Konta; the pair played out a fantastic third round match in China last year with Venus saving a match point to win, 6-4 3-6 7-5. The American player went on to win the title and have a wonderful end to the year, also winning the Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai to finish the year inside the world’s top ten. 2016 didn’t start with the same kind of positivity; Venus was well below-par in a first round loss to the 18-year-old, Daria Kasatkina in Auckland, going down, 7-6(3) 3-6 3-6. Venus hit 73 unforced errors in that match.

Konta also comes into Melbourne without any victories; as the number five seed in Shenzhen, she lost in three sets to Qiang Wang, 3-6 6-3 3-6. It is worth noting that Wang went onto qualify for the main draw of the Australian Open, so a player in form. In Hobart, Konta lost out in straight sets to Dominika Cibulkova, 6-7(6) 5-7. In a crazy set that had seen Konta recover from a 1-5 deficit, she was unable to convert on five set points in the first set tiebreak. After such a brilliant run during the second half of 2015, winning 27 of 33 matches, there was always a concern whether Konta could keep this form up. The real indicator is when confidence drops a little and whether she can still tough out the wins mentally. While it’s still too early to tell in 2016, the early signs are not promising.

Head-to-head record: Venus leads Jo, 1-0 in the head-to-head from the match in Wuhan last year.

Analysis: This will be a particularly interesting match to see where Venus’s level is at. Uncertainty surrounds both a little with neither having any match wins in 2016. While I hope to see Konta give a solid account of herself, i’d back Venus, the more dynamic player, to come through in straight sets.

Prediction: V.Williams d. Konta in 2 sets

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

22 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, 1st Round Preview for Tuesday: Venus Williams v Johanna Konta

  1. I quite like Jo Konta and would love to see her make something of herself, so I find myself inclined to wanting her to win here.

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    • You and me both, but Venus going out too early does not feel good. Neither will it help Serena. I hope she is efficient in her performance and stays out of the Australian summer sun.

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  2. There will be heatwave conditions in Melbourne on Tuesday,much hotter than Monday.This could effect both players,especially Venus who struggles with her auto immune problem.There is a change predicated in the afternoon.I hope Venus can win this match in straight sets.

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  3. I like Jo Konta too but she hasn’t been in the form we saw her in last summer, when amongst other wins she beat Garbi Muguruza twice. Let’s hope she gets back there and starts winning again.

    I look forward to her playing Aga Radwanska for the first time; that could be a great match if Jo is playing at her best.

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  4. I think Venus is very motivated in Melbourne. Kvitova…ahhhh I am not so sure about her current state. Luk had beaten her. Nevertheless, I am in Melbourne to watch those matches.

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  5. I expect three sets, I saw both Konta’s last matches and I think she is getting better, but actually I didnt see Venus this year. Konta will be motivated, it could be superb match if Konta will serve well.

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  6. Just a updated weather forecast from Melbourne for day 2,actually it will be cooler than Monday,the top temp expected is 32C.

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  7. Konta played a great match to defeat Venus in straight sets,she was aggressive,Venus upper thigh was heavily bandaged,her serve went missing,all credit to Konta !

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  8. Upset of the day in the womens draw S.Zhang ranked 133 defeated S.Halep ranked 2 64 63,first time Zhang has made the 2nd rd of a Grand Slam,she took the ball on early and remained aggressive.Just 27 years young:) a great doubles player.Well done Zhang!

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    • Very surprised by this result and particularly with Zhang’s record in GS MD matches… chuffed for Zhang! She seems really sweet and I watched her play Pliskova at RG last year. Was Halep injured or just beaten by a better player on the day?

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      • James,just beaten by a better player on the day,Zhang took the ball on early and went for her shots,remained aggressive all match

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      • Thanks, Margaret. Good for Zhang, just saw she had an emotional press conference. Can’t wait to see her on-court interview during my lunch break, looks like a tearjerker!

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  9. I love Konta, the way she bounces the ball before serve, her voice, her accent, her interviews, everything! Venus was coming back marvelously, but Konta regrouped and that’s what I like in any player.

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