By Ros Satar, Paris

  • Johanna Konta [22] v Yulia Putintseva
  • Head to Head| Konta leads 2-0
  • Konta searching for her first main draw win at the French Open
PARIS, FRANCE – After her best clay court season at tour level, Johanna Konta is looking for a first win in the French Open main draw.

 

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Johanna Konta [22] v Yulia Putintseva | H2H: Konta leads 2-0

Perhaps now is the time to dispel the myth that Konta cannot play on clay. For sure the terre battue is not her best surface, but some of her earlier ITF successes were on the dirt, and this year, she picked up a couple of wins here and there on a shortened clay court season thanks to the Fed Cup at the start of the season, in Japan.

First it was a run of late finishes in Madrid, and then a couple of rounds in Rome, but her confidence seemed to improve a lot this time around. From the tentative steps in Charleston (on that green/grey stuff that no-one thinks is proper clay anyway), but the time she went out to reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Her movement has improved a lot and hopefully a handful of wins will have boosted the confidence that was probably flagging after a lacklustre run of results at the end of last year, as well as adjusting to life under a new coach, Michael Joyce.

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Her two wins over the feisty Yulia Putintseva have come on… wait for it… clay! She beat the Kazakh in Oeiras qualies and most recently in Rome last year, so the signs look good – on paper. Putintseva has probably picked up the same number of wins in the lower tier International tournaments in Istanbul and Nurnberg.

She had looked commanding against a slow-starting Ostapenko in Rome this year, before the Latvian fought back. She can expect the same amount of aggressive play as she likes to dish out, but Putintseva, for all her fireworks, can actually be pretty patient in terms of building the points. If she knows that coming forward is a weakness at times for Konta, we can expect her to try and force her forward to take advantage of that.

If she can stay focussed in and around the usual antics we see from Putintseva then she stands a good chance of getting past her for a first time win in the main draw.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

Johanna Konta – Path to the French Open Final

  • R1: Yulia Putintseva| Konta leads H2H 2-0
  • R2: Jennifer Brady | First meeting
  • R3: Venus Williams [9] | Williams leads H2H 4-3
  • R4: Jelena Ostapenko [5] | Tied at 1-1
  • QF: Elina Svitolina [4] | Svitolina leads H2H 3-0
  • SF: Caroline Wozniacki [2] | Konta leads H2H 2-0
  • F: Simona Halep [1] | Tied at 3-3

 

 

Konta and Putintseva are scheduled to play on Sunday.

Main Image: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

 

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