By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [11] def. Carla Suárez Navarro [7] 7-5 7-6(6)
  • Konta v Petra Kvitova [14]
  • H2H: 1-1
WUHAN, CHINA – Johanna Konta turned into Houdini and wriggled out of a tight match against Carla Suárez Navarro, to earn a match up with Petra Kvitova in the Wuhan Open quarter-final.

 

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Johanna Konta [11] def. Carla Suárez Navarro [7] 7-5 7-6(6)

There was no doubt that there was a lot on the line for this match. Both players are in with a shout of making the Race to Singapore, in a match that gave little quarter – certainly in the first set.

It took Konta until the sixth game before she was able to get even the first sniff of a break point – but no matter what she threw at the Spaniard, the seventh seed was able to find a way round it. Suárez Navarro even had to save a set point and even had a break point the next game around – her first over Konta, before a loose game handed the Brit the break.

The second set started with a brace of breaks, but it started to look as through the higher seed was going to get the upper hand as Suárez Navarro boke Konta, and have three set points to level. It was a measure of Konta’s composure and resolve that she held on and broke back.

Things were not over – Suárez Navarro saved a match point to force a tie-break and looked to be totally in control as she build up a convincing 6-3 lead, with Konta then saving three set points and reeling off five points on the spin to make back to back Wuhan quarter-finals.

 

Konta v Petra Kvitova [14]

If we thought that was a battle royale, more was to come as Kvitova fought her way through a gruelling encounter with the World No. 1 Angelique Kerber in a second shy of three hours and twenty minutes. We all know that when Kvitova is on song, she can beat the best, but at times she did look as through she was suffering physically.

Kvitova’s strength of course is her serve ably backed up with a heavy forehand and sharp angles to pull players off kilter. On her day, she has fabulous variety and timing, and will opt to stay further back and dictate from the baseline.

Konta’s aggressiveness was key in her match against Suárez Navarro – she took the ball early, came forward and punished with her drive volley which is one of the most impressive shots these days in her armoury.

While she is also pretty solid off both wings, the key for Konta will be to make Kvitova move. She will certainly be the fresher of the two, but after the schedule hit delays with the rain and two R16 matches still to cram in, this pair land the final night match, and some much needed time for the Czech to recoup.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

Konta and Kvitova are scheduled on Centre Court at 7pm (12pm BST).

 

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