• Johanna Konta [8] v Kirsten Flipkens [Q]
  • H2H: Konta leads 4-1 (including at ITF level)
  • Konta working with Thomas Hogstedt & Dan Smethurst
NEW YORK, USA – Johanna Konta will get her singles campaign underway against match-tight qualifier Kirsten Flipkens at the Western & Southern Open.

 

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Johanna Konta [8] v Kirsten Flipkens [Q] | H2H: Konta leads 4-1 (including at ITF level)

British No. 1 Johanna Konta will hope to try and find the kind of form that took her to the Cincinnati quarter-final on her debut in 2017. Since then though, she suffered two first-round defeats in a row and will hope a change of location will break that cycle.

She will face a tour veteran in Kirsten Flipkens, who played nothing during the lockdown period, returning to the tour in Palermo, before coming through a couple of rounds of qualifying.

Konta, who has been managing a persistent knee injury managed three matches and one singles win at the Battle of the Brits Team event, but perhaps more worryingly shared the news that she had suffered intermittent heart palpitations after suffering an opening round loss in Lexington.

READ MORE | Tennis | WTA Lexington 2020 | Heart scare for Konta and delay woes for Watson as they exit in first round

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She has a strong record against Flipkens but the Belgian is absolutely the kind of tricky customer that can be a nightmare for the Brit. Flipkens enjoys coming to the net and has a backhand slice that is very pleasing on the eye.

She will want to try and force Konta to come in – although she works hard at them, her touch at the net continues to be the stuff of occasional nightmares, and that could be where Flipkens will be dangerous.

Often with Konta, if her serve is firing well, then the rest of her game falls into line, provided she is feeling fit and raring to go. Having opted for a road trip on her arrival in the US to minimise the travelling, we can only hope the heart issues have been abated but expect this to be a roller-coaster and Konta will most likely have to toil the distance to get the win.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

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