By Ros Satar
British No. 1 Johanna Konta also faces a tough opener in Madrid
- Johanna Konta v Caroline Garcia – First meeting
MADRID, SPAIN – Johanna Konta gets Madrid campaign started on Sunday but it could be a tough opener as she faces Stuttgart doubles champion Caroline Garcia.
Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
It has not been a great start in Madrid for the British women so far, with both Heather Watson and Naomi Broady falling in the final round of qualifying, and with both main draw names starting their campaign on Sunday, it could be a case of fight or flight.
Former British No. 1 Laura Robson starts against an in-form Victoria Azarenka and Konta starts against the feisty Frenchwoman, who also crashed out of the Stuttgart tournament in the opening round, but she and partner Kristina Mladenovic put out Konta and eventual Stuttgart finalist Laura Siegemund en route to picking up two Porsche pushbikes (yes, really!) as they won the doubles title.
Garcia has some dirt already in her shoes with Charleston and Fed Cup also in this year’s results, while it has looked like a slower start for Konta. That being said, she has some decent results on clay from last year, when she was also splitting her time between the ITF and WTA tour events, but main draw Premiers are another matter.
Of course on paper, this is Konta’s match to win (or indeed lose) with the jump her ranking received as she made her great run to the Australian Open semi-final as well as the quarter-final in Miami. But the pressure is on for Garcia – she is defending third round points in Madrid, while Konta has all to gain and it is not as though she cannot play on the surface.
This is winnable for the Brit, but this is not going to be easy and we anticipate a three set battle, with Konta having to deploy her now trademark fighting skills to get the win.
Prediction: Konta in three sets.