By Ros Satar, in Cincinnati
- Johanna Konta  v Donna Vekic [Q]
- First meeting
CINCINNATI, USA – British No. 1 Johanna Konta resumes tour duty after reaching the Rio 2016 quarter-final on her Olympic debut.
It looked for the large part that the usual calm demeanour of Britain’s Konta at times came unravelled with the slow gritty courts in Rio. Many players have commented since then about the slowness of the courts, and there has been scant time to get used to the more usual hard court speed.
The weather has not been kind in Cincinnati this week, as the qualifying rounds and now the first two days of the main draw have been severely disrupted by torrential rain and some impressively moody storms.
With the schedule getting backed up, the seeds will be keen to get going. For Vekic though, her run through qualifying has been her best run of back to back matches since the Eastbourne $50K on the lower tier of the circuit.
She dispatched former World No. 1 and a Slam champion Ana Ivanovic, whose downward trajectory seems to continue apace. She will be used to how these courts are playing, especially with the variable weather and the effect the humidity will have on the balls.
There is no denying that the schedule now in the run up to the US Open is stacked, with Konta on the list for New haven, before heading to Flushing Meadows to defend round four points.
This will be surer ground for the Brit though – the faster hard courts suit her game, when her serving is switched on. Backed up with solid groundstrokes and killer punch swing volleys, Konta should have more than enough weapons to deal with the Croatian.
However it all comes down to how much time she has had to adjust here – Vekic could well take a surprise set off her if she struggles to find her rhythm in the same way she did in a couple of her Rio matches. But the expectation is it will be far smoother sailing for the Brit.
Prediction: Konta in two sets.
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