By Ros Satar
- Johanna Konta v Dominika Cibulkova
- Heather Watson v Teliana Pereira
HOBART, AUSTRALIA – Defending champion Heather Watson and British No. 1 Johanna Konta start their Hobart International campaigns.
Heather Watson v Teliana Pereira – H2H: Watson leads 1-0
Choosing to start her season in Perth, partnering Andy Murray in the Hopman Cup hopefully sends Watson to Hobart match fit. Two tough three-setters, two wins including a straight forward one over Sabine Lisicki and the benefit of Judy Murray’s guidance as a temporary measure while she is without a coach all adds up to a promising base.
Watson has every reason to believe that she can get an opening win over the Brazilian who not surprisingly has a pretty poor record certainly in recent years on the hard courts. She has already lucked out this year losing in the first round of Brisbane in a fairly routine fashion to Andrea Petkovic.
Watson has been working hard over the off-season judging by some of her instagrams and an early loss here would be considered a bit of a disappointment.
Johanna Konta v Dominika Cibulkova – H2H: First Meeting
By contrast for the British No. 1, Konta had a less than ideal start with a first round loss in Shenzhen where she was the fifth seed. Konta is now not the kind of person to panic about it, but she may wish this was an easier start.
There are only 10 places that separate the players in the rankings at the moment, and Konta is more than capable of pulling off the big results, and with Cibulkova only one match ahead on wins going into this year, there is all to play for.
The Slovakian battled past Yanina Wickmayer in Brisbane before being completely outplayed by Roberta Vinci for the gain of only two games, so this could be a more even match up than the seedings would suggest.
With the reshuffling of the draw after Stephen’s withdrawal, Konta is in a qualifier-heavy part of the draw and if she can get a good win here under her belt she could look at a good deep run here.
Konta and Cibulkova are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 12:30pm (1:30am GMT); Watson and Pereira are scheduled on Centre Court not before 7pm (8am GMT).
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