By Ros Satar
- Johanna Konta  v Bernarda Pera [Q]
- Pera stunned Konta earlier this year in the Australian Open second round
DOHA, QATAR – Johanna Konta comes face to face with Bernarda Pera once more after the American stunned her at the Australian Open – does she have the measure of her this time?
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Johanna Konta  v Bernarda Pera [Q] – H2H: Pera leads 1-0
The year had looked to be starting so well for British No. 1 Johanna Konta. After the lost-looking performances at the tail end of 2017, Konta seemed to have a decent start to the season, reaching the quarter-final in Brisbane, albeit crashing out in the opening round of Sydney.
Her performance in her opener against Madison Brengle in her Australian Open first round gave a lot of confidence, but it was a surprise loss to a tricky player who came in as a lucky loser. Bernarda Pera had nothing to lose and it showed as she went toe-to-toe with the Brit, and edged her in two tight sets.
Since then, Konta came through a tricky match in the Fed Cup against Anett Kontaveit before looking a lot more assured as she helped Great Britain advance to a World Group II play-off, in April.
There is obviously still a lot of work to be done to regain her confidence but so far the relationship with Michael Joyce has seemed positive. His insight as a former player is something that Konta has found to be a help at the start of this year.
However she still needs to find a way to puzzle out these kinds of players that do not allow her to get away with her first strike tennis. Pera is more than capable of hanging with her in terms of pace, and Konta at the net continues to be a bit of a trauma for all watching.
Hopefully we won’t be in for a repeat of some of the howlers we saw – Konta now at least has the measure of Pera’s strengths especially on a hard court, but still it would not be a surprise it this went the distance.
Prediction: Konta in three sets.
Konta and Pera are scheduled on Court 1 at 3:30pm (12:30pm GMT).
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