By Ros Satar, in Rome
- Johanna Konta  v Yulia Putintseva
- Head to head – Konta leads 1-0
ROME, ITALY – there is one last chance for Johanna Konta to improve on her clay court skills before the French Open as she opens her account against Yulia Putintseva.
Johanna Konta  v Yulia Putintseva – H2H: Konta leads 1-0
It was a tragedy that Johanna Konta took to the court a little shy of midnight for what she described as one of her best clay court matches this season. She was facing the in=-form Laura Siegemund, and took the first set off the German, but it was one of her best runs so far on the dirt.
It is not as if she cannot play on the surface – she had a fair bit of success at the ITF levels on clay, but translating that to the main tour has been frustrating. Still, it is all part of the process-cocoon that the Brit has developed which has seen her back up her breakthrough year with her biggest title to date when she won Miami earlier this year.
She actually has the win on the clay of the old tournament in Estoril over Yulia Putintseva, who is not bad at all on the surface again at the lower tier of the ITF events. Last year she made the quarter-finals of Charleston, Rabat and more importantly the French Open before her run was finally ended by Serena Williams – who had to come from a set down.
She has the patience on the surface and the aggression, but perhaps unlike Konta she can unravel at quite an entertaining pace. That being said, this year’s clay court form has been nothing like as consistent as last year, so this really ought to be winnable for Konta.
She has not wanted to change too much of her game to adapt to the clay, but knows there are still some little tweaks to be made. You would have to make her the favourite to be able to figure out what’s needed to handle the pocket rocket from Kazakhstan.
Prediction: Konta in two sets.
Featured Image Credit: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
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