By Amanda Barlow
- First Wimbledon main draw win for Johanna Konta 
- Beats Monica Puig 6-1 7-5
- Sets up R2 clash with Eugenie Bouchard – First meeting
WIMBLEDON, UK – British No. 1 Johanna Konta notched up her first win at her Home Slam, after a straight sets win over Monica Puig, 6-1 7-5 – setting ip a R2 clash with Genie Bouchard.
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The 16th seed will have gotten used to the on-again-off-again conditions this dismal summer has afforded us, with the rain wreaking havoc particularly Birmingham and Eastbourne.
Picking up four matches in Nottingham and Birmingham, but perhaps earlier expected exits, back home to Eastbourne saw a more relaxed Konta hit the courts, with a run to the semi-final – one round further than last year.
Facing Puig was going to be a particularly tough challenge as the Puerto Rican had battled through qualifying in Eastbourne to make it to the semi-finals herself. She was hitting the ball clean and hard, and could have been a rough opener for the Brit.
However when the match started a day ago, Konta roared out of the blocks and raced through the first set. But just after the start of the second set, with serve, the rains came and kept the players off court.
With no roof (yet) on Court One, it was a tough wait again, and when they got back on the court after Konta had lead 2-1 on serve, Puig was the one to draw first blood, breaking for the lead.
Konta’s strength has been to keep cool under pressure, breaking back to level at 4-4 before going on to break for the match. Her serving had been exceptional, as well as her mental fortitude.
She broke for the match, and now sets up a second round clash with 2014 finalist Genie Bouchard.
It will be their first meeting, and her rise up the rankings is still dwarfed by Bouchard who hit the Top 5 later that year. She has more experience of playing on Centre Court, under the roof, and indeed a whole myriad of elements that Konta is just experiencing now.
Yet what Konta does better is keep her head and figure things out and finds a way to win through. There is still an element of Bouchard not really having a Plan B. If she is timing the ball well, and stirking early she is hard to fight against. But if that timing is even a little off, the match opens up in Konta’s favour.
Add to that a home crowd with the added treat of having Andy Murray the match before on tomorrow’s schedule, and you have to give the edge to the Brit.
Prediction: Konta in three sets.
Konta is scheduled third on Centre Court, not before 5pm
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