By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [1] v Tara Moore [WC]
  • Heather Watson [WC] v Alison Riske [4]
  • Sadly Laura Robson did not advance, beaten in straights sets on Monday by Julia Boserup
NOTTINGHAM, UK – Top seed Johanna Konta leads a trio of Brits in action at the Aegon Open, taking on wildcard Tara Moore, while Heather Watson faces Alison Riske.

 

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Johanna Konta [1] v Tara Moore [WC]

So starts a busy summer for the British No. 1 Johanna Konta. After a tough but ultimately more positive clay court season, Konta returns to surer ground at the start of a packed grass court schedule. First up she faces fellow Brit Tara Moore. Moore has stuck largely to the lower tier tournaments with a smattering of qualifying rounds at the WTA Internationals and the two majors so far.

Moore is a feisty customer and plays a decent attacking game, quoting her favourite surface as grass. Konta, taking her first steps on the green this season also has a game that sits up for the grass. In Konta’s favour of course is the experience she has developed over the past two or three years. Not only playing at the highest levels of the sport, but her way of compartmentalising during a match and keeping hold of her nerves to come through some battles has made her a formidable opponent over this year already.

We can expect some big hitting but Konta’s experience is likely to see her through in quite some comfort.

Prediction: Konta in two sets.

 

Heather Watson [WC] v Alison Riske [4]

Heather Watson – 2017 Roland Garros (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

It has already been a little more promising for Heather Watson as she started her grass court season with a run to the Surbiton ITF final. Although it might not have been the size of trophy, she will have to be happy wth four wins on the bounce. Of course, given her experience she ought to be winning matches comfortably at this level, but she needs a lot of confidence right now after struggling a little this year.

She has a new coaching set up and seems a lot more happy in herself, and grass should lend itself to her game – she will look to neutralise Alison Riske’s aggressive style of play with pepping up her serve and trying to get more free points on her first serve, as her second serve will be tempting bait for Riske to punish.

This could be a tough one to win for Watson against the No. 4 seed. If she wants the win this is going to be a three-set rollercoaster.

Prediction: Riske in three sets.

Konta is scheduled on Centre Court at 11am, with Watson scheduled not before 2pm – all times BST.

Featured Image Credit: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

 

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