By Ros Satar, in Stuttgart
- Johanna Konta v Anna-Lena Friedsam [WC]
- First Meeting
- Laura Robson fell in the second round of qualification
STUTTGART, GERMANY – British No. 1 Johanna Konta will open her campaign in Stuttgart against German wild-card Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at WTA Stuttgart.
Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
The clay court season starts on the slick indoor surface for the top Brit, who was last here in 2014, when she came into the main draw as a lucky loser.
Looking back over her clay court credentials last year, she put in her time in on the ITF circuit, before playing through qualifying to reach the first round of the French Open, losing a first set tie-break 6-7(17) to Denisa Allertova before bowing out in three sets.
If course the grass season was her turning point last year, and her start this year has catapulted her to within reach of a place in the Top 20.
Although she is ahead in the rankings, she will face a German playing in front of a home crowd although Konta’s mental fortitude has been her watch-word this year.
Compare and contrast Friedsam, who had Agnieszka Radwanska with one foot out of the tournament in the fourth round, leading her before cramp set in and she fell apart, giving Radwanska a lucky escape.
With a decent serve and good forehand, her game should suit this surface, but Konta most definitely has the edge in terms of fitness and conditioning, and more importantly has really earned her passage through tough three setters.
The crowd will bother her not one jot, and perhaps the giddiness of participating in a Porsche Parallel parking test will carry her through an opening round where she is expected to advance.
Oceane Dodin def. Laura Robson 6-2 6-2
After striking out with a solid win over Klara Koukalova, Robson could not reproduce the same form as she dropped out of Stuttgart qualifying in straight sets to the Frenchwoman.
Whereas on Saturday the court was her playground and she was seeing the ball like a football, Sunday was a different matter – the court was too short and the net too tall as Robson struggled with her serving.
Her hitting off both wings after this wretched amount of time off the court with her wrist injury seemed to be fine but perhaps her conditioning still needs sharpening.
Let’s not forget, Robson only came back to the main tour in March, as she needs to use up her protected ranking, and admitted it makes sense to get some of the matches in, and at least snapped a five match losing streak since the start of the year here.
Konta and Friedsam are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 2:30pm (1:30pm BST).
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