By Jake Davies

  • Johanna Konta [10] defeats Bernarda Pera [q]  7-6 (5) 6-1
  • Johanna Konta [10] vs Carla Suárez Navarro
QATAR, DOHA – Johanna Konta exacted a little revenge over Bernarda Pera for her early exit at the Australian Open, and meets 2016 champion Carla Suárez Navarro.

 

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Johanna Konta [10] defeats Bernarda Pera 7-6  (5) 6-1

 

Johanna Konta got sweet revenge for her shock loss at the Australian Open as she beat American qualifier Bernarda Pera in straight-sets in her opening match at the Qatar Open. The loss down in Melbourne was still fresh in the mind of the British No.1 and she would have been extremely disappointed with the outcome of the match and losing early at a major. These are the stages that she wants to continue pressing at and she would have wanted to put things right as quick as possible, so facing Pera and getting a measure of revenge is a positive start for Konta.

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Konta’s start to the match was far from perfect and she even found herself down a break of serve towards the end of the set, where the American served for the first set but could not get over the line like she eventually did at the Australian Open. It was another one of those matches where as soon as the lower-ranked player gave the favourite a little room to breathe and a little bit of hope then the underdog was completely punished for even a slight dip in their level.

Once Konta got back on level terms and then sealed the first set in the tiebreak, it was tough to see Pera regain that mental edge as the Brit pushed on from that moment forward by handing a breadstick to her opponent in the second set to win it.

 

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Konta [10] vs Carla Suárez Navarro H2H: Konta leads 1-0

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The World No.11 now goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro for a place in the third round of the tournament in Doha. The Spaniard clearly enjoys the conditions at this event as she won it back in 2016, where she beat Jelena Ostapenko for the biggest title in her career.

I think I like this matchup for the Brit. She likes to be the aggressor and make sure that the point ends her way and on her own terms and she really applies that mindset from the first shot on the return to the final ball to finish the point. Suarez Navarro is the more defensive minded of the two and I think Konta can really use that to her advantage in order to make this a successful outing for the No.10 seed.

Prediction: Konta in two sets

 

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