By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [20] v Julia Goerges – First Meeting
  • Laura Robson [PR] v Andrea Petkovic [28] – First Meeting

PARIS, FRANCE – Current and former British No. 1s Johanna Konta and Laura Robson will bid to join Heather Watson in the second round of the French Open.

Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules

Johanna Konta [20] v Julia Goerges – First Meeting

After a two day, three set ding-ding battle for British No. 2 Heather Watson, we will see if Konta can manage to get the job done a little more efficiently. In fact one thing that stood out from Konta’s semi-final run at the Australian Open is how she gained confidence through the longer battles, and that may well be the case against Germany’s Goerges.

It has not been the best start for Konta on the clay. She struggled with the slicker indoor surface in Stuttgart, and had to retire in Madrid, at altitude, with a respiratory illness, but she looked a little sharper for a couple of rounds in Rome, before bowing out to Misaki Doi.

On paper through, she has picked up more quality time in the main draws of these events, while apart from Stuttgart, Goerges had to come through qualifying in Madrid and Rome before coming into Paris with a run to the Nurnberg semi-finals.

This is probably a battle of matching styles – both play a solid game with big serves  and ground-strokes but maybe consistency is a little stronger on the side of the Brit. Goerges at her best has been solid on all surfaces but maybe she can be pushed a little on her slightly weaker backhand side.

Perhaps Konta might prefer to have come into this major less undercooked, but playing on the big stage of a Slam is no surprise to her, and she should come through this fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Konta in two sets.

 

Laura Robson [PR] v Andrea Petkovic [28] – First Meeting

This is an intriguing match-up. On the one hand we have Robson, still trying to pick her way back up the rankings while she can still use her protected ranking, and on the other the 28th seed Petkovic who has had quite honestly a horrible season.

Petkovic can play on clay – she is a former Roland Garros semi-finalist, but a couple of rough years where she even questioned her commitment to tennis has left her sometimes a little lost out on court. She has no back to back wins (just two wins, in fact) coming into Paris. In fairness, Robson also has two wins to her name, but her movement and sharpness is beginning to return, but there is still a feeling this is a tournament (or indeed Slam) too soon.

The best thing is that Robson is pain free, so the sharpness will come throughout the year, but she is certainly capable of giving the German a good scrap. Talking to her at Madrid, she spoke of her admiration for her opponent Victoria Azarenka – she felt she had a lot to learn for the intensity that the Belarusian brings to every point. If Robson can bring that intensity, she can frustrate Petkovic, who can overthink things out on court.

Prediction: Petkovic in three sets.

 

Konta and Robson are scheduled fourth on Courts 2 & 14, with play starting at 11am (10am BST).

 

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