By Jake Davies

  • Johanna Konta [10] defeats Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4
  • Konta progresses to the Miami Open third round
  • The British No.1 next faces Pauline Parmentier for a place in the Round of 16.
MIAMI, USA – Johanna Konta overcame a second set wobble to book her place in the Miami Open third round.

 

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Johanna Konta [10] defeats Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

World No.11 Johanna Konta fought through some blustery conditions in order to gain the upper-hand of her Belarusian opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the Miami Open second round.  It was a tricky match on paper. Konta would not have known a great amount about Sasnovich as they were playing each other for the first time, but Sasnovich’s results have picked up in 2017, leading Belarus to a great win over the Netherlands in Fed Cup, where she went undefeated in singles. Often you see the memorable, inspired Fed Cup runs carrying into the regular season for many of the WTA players and Sasnovich seems to be no exception to that rule.

The week in Miami is an important one for Konta. Losing a tight match against Caroline Garcia in Indian Wells would have had a lasting effect. She not only came into Miami hoping to put right the loss to Garcia, but surely the goal is to get firmly back into the Top 10 and a good showing in Miami could prove pivotal for Konta.

Konta and Sasnovich dealt with horrid conditions with the wind swirling out of control and there was also a rain stoppage to add to the mayhem. Konta seemed to be in a great frame of mind in the early stages of the match. The real question mark was whether Konta could target the forehand of her opponent and stay away from the stronger backhand that shoots through the court much more viciously.

Konta led by a set and a break, leading 6-2 *4-2, but her grip on the match was immediately loosened as Sasnovich found a way back in, taking it to a third set in the tiebreak.

The Sydney champion regained the momentum and needed two breaks of serve to claim the victory on a strenuous day in Miami.

 

Johanna Konta [10] vs Pauline Parmentier H2H: First meeting

The next opponent for the British No.1 is France’s Pauline Parmentier. One can make the argument that it is the perfect kind of opponent with the perfect brand of tennis that matches up nicely for  Konta. The Brit will enjoy being in control of the majority of the rallies.

Parmentier does not have a huge game. She likes to hit a bigger, more aggressive ball off the forehand side, which we saw cause World No.1 Angelique Kerber a lot of problems in Indian Wells, but I think that Parmentier struggles to impose herself on her opponents, which can render her powerless to the outcome of most of her matches.

Konta has not faced Parmentier in a WTA event before, but these two have met on three occasions on the ITF circuit. Konta holds the advantage in two hard court meetings, while Parmentier came through in their only previous clay court encounter..

The Frenchwoman will prefer the slower hard court conditions compared to the faster conditions we witnessed in Melbourne this year, but the Brit holds all the cards to victory in this particular one-on-one bout in Miami.

Prediction: Konta in two sets

 

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