By Jake Davies
- Johanna Konta  vs Daria Gavrilova
- It is the first meeting between the two in a WTA main draw
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Johanna Konta did not quite breeze into the second round of the WTA Sydney Apia International, she faces a tough test for the quarter-finals.
Johanna Konta  vs Daria Gavrilova H2H: First meeting
Johanna Konta‘s preparation for the 2017 Australian Open continues in Sydney this week. Last week, she managed to make the semi-final in Shenzhen and posted some fantastic wins in the process. There is a lot of expectation for her to excel in Melbourne this year having made the semi-finals last year and is now recognised as one of the Top 10 players in the world on the WTA Tour.
Konta actually arrived in Melbourne last year with no match wins under her belt, so is in a much better place 12 months on. Her rise to the Top 10 has been well-documented, but her opponent in the second round of Sydney, Daria Gavrilova, has also experienced a tremendous improvement in her game in 2016 and hopes to maintain that level in the 2017 season. Gavrilova recorded four wins over Top 10 players in 2016, including a phenomenal win over World No.1 Angelique Kerber in Hong Kong.
Gavrilova’s ascension through the ranks of the WTA tour has not always been that simple. In 2013, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and spent half of the 2014 season recovering from the injury before she mounted the most incredible of comebacks. This time under the Australian flag and with the help of Tennis Australia, they have overseen the dramatic progression in Gavrilova’s level and results. She is now a Top 25 player.
The two players have met at an ITF event in 2015, where Gavrilova picked up the win. They also played in qualifying at a WTA event back in 2012, but both players have undertaken a huge transformation in their tennis since then so it is difficult to read into their previous results before the 2016 season.
Konta may struggle in this match up. Gavrilova is one of the most feisty competitors on the WTA Tour and always lets her opponent know that mentally she is ready for the next point with her body language. Again, this has become more apparent since she appointed Nicole Pratt as coach, who has improved her body language and application on the court incredibly under her guidance.
Prediction: Konta should come through in a tough three-set match against the Australian.
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