• Johanna Konta in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, WTA San Jose 2018

By Anita Stahl

  • Johanna Konta faces Elise Mertens in Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic quarterfinal
  • Konta leads H2H 1-0
SAN JOSÉ, CALIFORNIA – Johanna Konta face fourth seed Elise Mertens in the quarter-final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San José State University.

 

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READ MORE | Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic 2018 | Konta defeats Kenin for third round clash with Mertens

 

Johanna Konta v Elise Mertens [4] | H2H: Konta leads 1-0

Johanna Konta takes on fourth seed Elise Mertens in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic quarter-final. Konta reached the third round of the week long tournament with a blowout match against Serena Williams, whom she defeated 6-1, 6-0 in only 51 minutes. Konta backed that victory up with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sofia Kenin. The San José courts suit Konta’s big hitting from the baseline, and she seems to be ball-striking with a renewed sense of confidence after struggling for the last 12 months to find some consistent form.

Elise Mertens at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour

Elise Mertens at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour | Anita Stahl

Mertens reached the quarterfinal with a bye in the first round and an unconvincing 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over American wildcard Ashley Kratzer.

Konta and Mertens have only played each other once previously, at the 2018 Miami Open in the round of 32. The Brit walked away with a 6-2, 6-1 victory in only 1:05 hours. In the interim five months, however, the Belgian’s ranking has skyrocketed and her confidence came with it.

Konta is ready for the challenge:

“I’m looking forward to playing one of the most in-form players of the year and really just do my best against that.”

With the dip in her form, Konta’s ranking tumbled, but that seems to have galvanised her as she has certainly played well above a ranking just inside the Top 50. The winner of this match will play the winner of Mihaela Buzarnescu [5] and Ajla Tomljanovic in the semifinal.

Konta is still in the doubles draw, as well. After suitable rest, she and partner Zhang Shuai of China take on the second seeded team of fellow Brit Heather Watson and  Buzarnescu.

Predictions: Konta in two sets

 

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