By Ros Satar, at Roland Garros

  • Johanna Konta [26] def. Lauren Davis [W] 6-3 1-6 6-3
  • Konta v Viktoria Kuzmova | First Meeting
PARIS, FRANCE – As Johanna Konta keeps on rolling on the clay, she cuts a break as her draw opens up with Kiki Bertens’ withdrawal.

 

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Johanna Konta [26] def. Lauren Davis [W] 6-3 1-6 6-3

Having conquered one mountain, winning her first main draw match at Roland Garros, there was another mountain to climb for British No. 1 Johanna Konta in the second round, facing the gritty American wildcard Lauren Davis, who pushed the Brit hard.

Konta, who has been suffering with a heavy cold since Sunday, played very solid first strike tennis in a tight first set with both having chances to break and not being able to quite make the difference. Konta finally got her breakthrough on her fifth attempt for a 5-4 lead, converting it to the first set on her third set point.

Curiously though her momentum and drive faltered as Davis upped her level quite dramatically, swiftly jumping out to a 5-0 lead until Konta finally gathered up her wits to stop the run of games against her, albeit briefly as Davis levelled the match.

Konta dug in and raised her level at the start of the decider, as it was her turn to build up a 5-0 lead, but Davis came back at her, saving three match points as well as breaking Konta as she served for the match, but was eventually ground down for Konta to book her place in the third round.

After the match, Konta, sounding very full of cold, said: “To be fair, the whole match was tricky in its own way. She’s a very tough opponent to play. In the first set there was very little in it, so I thought I did well in just staying tough and really just trying to find a way.

“And I got a little opening, and I thought I was able to then close it out. In that second set, I don’t actually think I did too much wrong. My opponent, she raised her level a lot, and I didn’t quite raise it as well.

“In the third set, I felt I raised my level again. Actually ran away with it a little bit. But I knew up until the very end that until I was shaking hands with her, it was not going to be over.”

 

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Konta v Viktoria Kuzmova | First Meeting

Viktoria Kuzmova in the second round of the Australian Open 2019

Viktoria Kuzmova in the second round of the Australian Open 2019 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Earlier in the day the draw opened up quite nicely, potentially, for Konta as one of the favourites for the tournament, No. 4 seed Kiki Bertens, retired early in her second-round match will illness.

READ MORE | Tennis | Roland Garros 2019 | Day Four Diary: Injury upsets and business as usual

Viktoria Kuzmova will come into this match a lot more well rested, with a fairly decent smattering of clay court tournaments in the build-up to Roland Garros. Her best performance was reaching the third round of Madrid where she lost to Simona Halep.

She can generate plenty of power behind her shots, plays aggressively much like Konta and is solid from the baseline. While, like Konta, should expect free points off her serve, at times she can be erratic, and Konta in general can be steadier with more experience behind her.

However, Konta can also be guilty of some dodgy shot decisions (drop-shots anyone?) and so we should expect this to be another tough fight for the Brit. Kuzmova played very solidly in her opener, and Konta – already feeling under the weather – has toiled hard to get to this point.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

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