Konta storms into Miami Open R4 to face Arruabarrena

 

By Ros Satar

 

  • Johanna Konta [10] def. Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-0
  • Next up is Lara Arruabarrena who ousted Madison Keys
  • H2H – Arruabarrena leads 1-0
MIAMI, USA – Johanna Konta looked back to her best as she eased past Pauline Parmentier – she will face Lara Arruabarrena who ousted No. 8 seed Madison Keys.

 

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Johanna Konta [10] def. Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-0

While it has not been a bad year by any stretch of the imagination for World No. 11 Johanna Konta, this season has seen perhaps not quite the accomplished poise that accompanied her run into the World Top 10 last year.

After parting ways with Esteban Carril, she has partnered with Wim Fissette, who has guided some of the best players in the world, including Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Kim Clijsters. He seems to be as calming an influence certainly in their on-court coaching encounters (and let’s face it, anything is calming in comparison to some coaching match-ups!) but they have already had some steady results, including Konta blowing Agnieszka Radwanska off the court in Sydney for her second WTA title.

After an edgy first set, Konta held form for a crucial late break and from there she never looked back. While Pauline Parmentier did not play particularly badly, once Konta got into her groove, she served and positioned winners with deadly accuracy, in marked contrast to the mid-match wobbles we have seen recently. It cost her dearly in Indian Wells, and it was an unusually flat Konta in press.

Usually she is very good at putting matches into perspective, but she was truly gutted to have let Caroline Garcia into the match that saw her bounced out of Indian Wells early. She was put through her paces by Aliaksandra Sasnovich with another such wobble before battling through the elements and her opponent.

 

Konta v Lara Arruabarrena – H2H: Arruabarrena leads 1-0

Before we descend into doom and gloom at the head to head, it is worth nothing that the Lara Arruabarrena’s one victory over Konta came in a Mallorca 25K on clay – hardly a surface that Konta excels on, with a 33% success rate in the last year on the dirt.

Then again, before we get too excited the Spaniard came through a tight two setter toe-to-toe with one of the biggest hitters on the hard court, Madison Keys. In fact this is her best result in Miami having never even made it into the main draw in three previous attempts, so now is no need for complacency where rankings are concerned.

Konta looked to be a more settled being this time around, the blistery conditions of her opening match had died down and she imposed her usual air of authority once she picked up the lead. Arruabarrena has had a disappointing season thus far. She finished 2016 with picking up the Seoul title, on a hard court, but this year until Miami, she had yet to pick up back to back wins in 2017. There is no underestimating the confidence that will bring.

Konta will need to look to dominate as she has done, but with her earlier rounds, we can expect her to take some time to try and work out her opponent’s weaknesses. The Spaniard has been used to battling this week – she had to come from a set behind in the second round, so expect her to keep pace with Konta.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

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