By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta v Aliaksandra Sasnovich [Q]
  • First meeting
  • Konta is now the sole Brit standing in the Singles, both men and women
MIAMI, USA – Johanna Konta flies the flag one more time (hopefully not the last time) as she starts her bid to defend last year’s run to the quarter-finals at the Miami Open.

 

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Johanna Konta [10] v Aliaksandra Sasnovich [Q]

Last tournament we had Five in a Fix in the Desert. Wednesday’s schedule had more than a Mickey Mouse feel to it as one by one, no less than four of our British hopefuls fell by the wayside. That is a lot of numbers, right there.

Emerging stage right is British No. 1 and current World No. 11 Johanna Konta who will now get more than a taste of what it must be like to be Andy Murray and the last Brit standing (in the singles, we hasten to add).

Like Watson, she is defending a decent run here last year where she started to back up her sensational run to the Australian Open semi-final with a run to the quarter-finals here. We know that she is some 109 places above her opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich, but in reality – since when has that had any bearing on matters.

She suffered maybe a surprising loss to Caroline Garcia in Indian Wells. The Frenchwoman had not been in the greatest form over the year so far, and in the beginning it looked like it would be routine for Konta, before Garcia found her way into the match, and a rueful Konta could only surmise that there were a lot of areas where she performed more poorly than Garcia.

Still, new week, new tournament, and she will face someone who is probably a little more match-tight on the courts of Crandon Park. Konta plays a hard hitting game, and there are still areas for her to improve in. While her drive volley winners can be most effective, she lacks the feel at the more delicate pick-up volleys which sometimes leaves her a little vulnerable at the net.

She can expect Sasnovich to try and dictate from the baseline, but she is not averse to throwing in other measures, so Konta will need to work fast to figure out her game. This is a match where Konta is expected to breeze through, if she has regained some of her confidence and inner poise after her loss to Garcia.

Prediction: Konta in two sets.

 

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