- Johanna Konta  v Kaja Juvan [Q]
- H2H: First Meeting
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Johanna Konta faces qualifier Kaja Juvan in the first round of the Australian Open as she bids to find the form that took her to the semi-finals in 2016.
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H2H & Match Fundamentals
|Johanna Konta  v Kaja Juvan [Q]||H2H: First Meeting|
|Australian Open||Melbourne, Australia|
|Hard (O)||Prize Money: A$100,000|
|Fourth on Court 13, not before 4:30pm (5:30am GMT)||Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available
Preview: Johanna Konta  v Kaja Juvan [Q]| H2H: First Meeting
The year has started off quite differently for Johanna Konta and her first-round opponent Kaja Juvan. Konta opted to skip the Middle East and head to Australia, where she had a win and a loss in the WTA Gippsland Trophy while Juvan came through three rounds of Australian Open qualifying in Dubai, before also getting a couple of rounds in at the same tournament.
With just a couple of matches to compare, there is not much between them at all with Juvan having been taken the distance twice, and Konta coming off a defeat to Irina-Camelia Begu. Where Konta was more effective was getting out of trouble on her serve.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)
|H2H:||Johanna Konta  15||Kaja Juvan (104)|
|Tournament Previous Best||SF (2016)||R1 (2020)|
|1st Serve Return Points Won %||36.7||34.4|
|Return Points Won %||43.8||43.4|
|Break Point Conversion %||66.7||66.7|
|Break Points Saved %||50||25|
|Total Points Won %||51.7||51.2|
Konta looked very solid against Bernarda Pera, who has been able to challenge the No. 1 Brit in the past, but against Begu she was pushed hard in the final two sets after taking the first. Perhaps there is still a little rust for the No. 13 seed to shake off.
Coming up against Juvan, she looked very solid during the Australian Open qualifying rounds but coming out of quarantine, it was a lot more hard work for the Slovenian, coming from behind in her first match, and losing to her best buddy on the tour Iga Swiatek despite going a set up, so she is up for a scrap and Konta might expect to have to toil a bit in the Aussie sun.
Juvan loves a good dropshot, and we know that Konta enjoys throwing those out herself, but they can sometimes be somewhat telegraphed. The Slovakian will look to move Konta out of position to finish off with some sharp angles, so it will keep the Brit on her toes.
While the pair have practiced together in the past, it can sometimes be a challenge for a more established player to take on someone for the first time, and Konta can ill-afford a slow start against the determined Juvan who will have absolutely nothing to lose here.
Experience should prevail but it does not feel like a surprise if Juvan takes the upper-hand early and forces Konta to fight for it.
Prediction: Konta in three sets
Konta and Juvan are scheduled fourth on Court 13, not before 4:30pm (5:30am GMT).
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