• Johanna Konta [7] v Irina-Camelia Begu [Q] | First meeting
  • Marco Cecchinato [Q] def. Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2
ROME, ITALY – Mo. 7 seed Johanna Konta remains the only Brit in action as she opens her campaign against Romanian qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu.

 

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Johanna Konta [7] v Irina-Camelia Begu [Q] | First meeting

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After getting the better of compatriot Heather Watson in her opening round at the US Open, British No. 1 Johanna Konta fell to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea – and meets another in Irina-Camelia Begu for the first time in her Rome opener.

This has the makings of being a tough encounter for Konta, who reached the final last year, before backing that up with a run to the Roland Garros semi-final. Begu has had to come through qualifying and so is not only match fit on these courts, but furthermore came through without dropping a set.

Konta was, for a long time, not considered to be a force to be reckoned with on clay until last year but at Rome had reached the round of 16 three times in a row before kicking on to the final.

As much as Konta brings attacking tennis to the court, Begu tends to be quite a defensive player and if Konta can drive her towards the back of the court, before coming forward to try and finish off her points at the net, then she ought to get the better of the Romanian.

However, Konta has not had the benefit of match play on these courts, so it would not be a surprise to see her kick on aggressively at the start before having to work out how she copes with Begu in the latter half of the match.

Prediction: Konta in three sets

 

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Marco Cecchinato [Q] def. Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2

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It was a disappointing outing for Kyle Edmund on a surface that he traditionally does well on. The start of the match was very positive against Italian qualifier Marco Cecchinato, with the measured power of Edmund.

But once the Italian started to find his feet it was a far more competitive second set, without the sniff of a break. In the tie-break though it was a different story, with Cecchinato just staying ahead of Edmund, who had his chances, but could not nudge ahead, as the Italian levelled the match. From there it was one-way traffic, as Cecchinato broke twice and closed out the match to love.

Konta & Begu are scheduled third on court Pietrangeli, not before 2pm (1pm BST).

 

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