By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Johanna Konta def. Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-2
  • Faces [17] Caroline Wozniacki in the third round – First Meeting
  • Heather Watson edged in third set heartbreaker against Jennifer Brady
  • Kyle Edmund bows out to Pablo Carreno Busta
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Johanna Konta emerged the sole winner on Day Four of the Australian Open 2017, after Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund exited in the second round.

 

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Johanna Konta [9] def. Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-2

British No. 1 Johanna Konta continued to display the form and consistency that took her into the World’s Top 10 when she effectively handled the big play from big talent Naomi Osaka.

The teen from America, who now plays for Japan has been dubbed ‘Baby Serena’ for the power she can generate off the ball, yet Konta had a different perspective, having faced her for the second time, extending her head to head lead over the youngster.

“She’s obviously a great server and a big ball striker.   I was definitely keen on making my stamp in the match, and I feel like I managed to do that as the match went on.

“Interestingly, what she does well is she also takes pace off the ball quite well. So you don’t quite know when she’s going to be hitting it big and when she’s looking to stay in the point and more work the point.”

Osaka perhaps still lacks for the best shot choices, and Konta really ran away with it in the second set, but from here on in, the Brit’s draw gets far tougher.

 

Konta v Caroline Wozniacki [17] – First Meeting

Next up for Konta is Caroline Wozniacki, who has really had to overcome a raft of injuries before beginning to pick the pace back up towards the back end of last year.

She was pretty dominant in her second round match with Donna Vekic, and she was quick to point out that Konta’s rise up the ranking was not an immediate thing.

She told reporters: “I don’t know if it’s quick. I mean, she’s been around for years, you know, trying to break through. She’s always had the game. I think she had a great last year, and yeah, it’s nice to see.

“But if it’s quick or not, I don’t know. I think if you ask her, she’ll say it’s been a long hard ride. It’s paying off for her now, which is great.”

Wozniacki’s strength has always been rock solid defensive play but with the ability to quickly switch up the gears. She can be relied upon to run around forever, and Konta can expect her mileage to increase on court significantly.

Wozniacki’s anticipation is one of her key strengths and Konta would do well to try and disguise her intentions as she comes forward for swing volley winners. Her serving was solid against Osaka and she will want to pick up a few free points on her serve to avoid letting Wozniacki getting a hold of the games.

Prediction: Konta in three sets

 

Heather Watson edged in third set battle

British No. 2 Heather Watson had started so promisingly against American qualifier Jennifer Brady but she had spent a lot of time working through the qualifying rounds here in Melbourne.

She worked her way back in second set to level the match and the pair were toe-to-toe with Watson failing to convert three match points at 6-5 and two more at 8-7 before the momentum swung towards the American, who finally converted on her third match point.

Kyle Edmund summed up his performance as ‘inconsistent, as he was comprehensively beaten by Pablo Carreno Busta.

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