By Jake Davies

  • Johanna Konta [3] defeats Cagla Buyukakcay 6-2 6-0
  • The British No.1 progresses to the second round to face America’s Vania King.
SHENZHEN, CHINA – British No. 1 Johanna Konta was in blistering form as she stormed into the second round of the WTA Shenzhen Open for the first time in three appearances.

 

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Johanna Konta [3] defeats Cagla Buyukakcay 6-2 6-0

Johanna Konta has achieved so much in a short space of time, but in top level sport, maintaining that high level of performance and consistency can often be even more difficult. The Briton regularly mentions that the improvement in results have come through years and years of preparation and now she must continue that meticulous preparation with a new coaching set up with Wim Fissette and Andrew Fitzpatrick.

Fissette has worked with the very best that the WTA has to offer including Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep, and most recently, Victoria Azarenka. He has a great track record, which would have helped Konta in the selection process of finding the coach that can guide her from a Top 10 player to a Top 5 player after a breakthrough season.

The Konta and Fissette partnership started magnificently in Shenzhen. It is rare for a player to play a perfect match to begin a season after a long layoff, but the World No.10 played faultless, aggressive tennis, which Cagla Buyukakcay simply could not live with.

Konta did a fantastic job at punishing any ball that fell short and central in the middle of the court. The Brit stepped inside the court on a number of occasions as she attempted to prevent her Turkish opponent from being the aggressor on her favoured backhand. Most of her opponent’s backhand strokes came from defensive positions, which enabled Konta to be the dictator in the majority of the rallies.

Konta made a total of 26 winners in 56 minutes, while Buyukakcay only committed 3 unforced errors the whole match, which further illustrates the Konta’s authority throughout this first round encounter.

Often in the first match of the season, coaches and players are seeking getting the right result over a stellar performance, but Konta managed to deliver on both fronts and now faces Vania King in the second round of the Shenzhen Open.

 

Johanna Konta [3] vs Vania King – H2H: Konta leads 1-0

The third seeded Konta holds a victory over King in their previous meeting. They met in Montreal last year, where Konta came out on top in straight sets.

King made her first WTA final in singles for three years in 2016 when she made the Nanchang final, but most of her success has been found on the doubles court at grand slam level.

Konta should continue in the same form she showed in her first round and is the heavy favourite against her American opponent.

Prediction: Konta in straight sets.

Konta and King are scheduled on Centre Court not before 12:30pm (4:30am GMT)

 

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