- Johanna Konta  def. Kirsten Flipkens [Q] 6-2 6-0
- Konta faces another qualifier in Vera Zvonareva
NEW YORK, USA – Johanna Konta was back to winning ways for the first time since the tour restart to book a spot in the third round of the Western & Southern Open.
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Johanna Konta  def. Kirsten Flipkens [Q] 6-2 6-0
It is probably not an unfair statement to say that this looked like a return to the Johanna Konta of old, as she handled the kind of tricky player in Kirsten Flipkens that generally causes her issues.
Flipkens absolutely has the kind of game that can exploit some of the weaknesses in Konta’s game – mixing things up with variety, coming forward to trap her at the net, but there was none of that today, as Konta effectively stifled all of Flipken’s trademark creativity.
There was an early chance for Konta to break in the first game before Konta was rewarded in the middle of the first set with two breaks in succession. Flipkens unravelled in the second set, as Konta capped out a commanding performance with a hold to love.
After the match she said: “I am happy with how I think problem-solved out there and played in general. I think I obviously made it quite difficult for Kirsten to get a foothold in the match. I give myself a bit of credit for that. I’m really pleased to have gotten a win. Obviously the first one since Monterrey, which was six months ago. So it was a long time ago.”
Konta v Vera Zvonareva [Q] | First Meeting
Next up for the British No. 1 is Vera Zvonareva – who is a former Cincinnati champion going back to 2006. Now a mother, the two-time Slam finalist will face Konta for the first time.
That being said, she did practice with her, a couple of years ago, as she explained: “I did actually practice with her at the end of 2018, so a while ago now. She’s a great player. You know, I mean, she’s also into the third round. She was in quallies, right? So she’s obviously won some matches.”
Zvonareva was certainly turning back the clock in her match against Laura Siegemund, and at her peak she could reach balls and truly hustle, often rushing her opponents and much as Konta did today, just halting any rhythm and grinding them down.
Konta again will want that serve to score her a few points and will be looking to take time away from Zvonareva, whose experience could force Konta into a tight encounter. Both are heavy hitters and Konta’s confidence should see her to a win over a match-tight Zvonareva.
Konta continued: She’s been around for a long time, so she knows the game. She can read the game. She’s an incredible competitor when I have seen her play.
“She will be there from the very first point to the very last, and someone like that is very tough to play against, so it will be a tough match for me.
Prediction: Konta in straight sets.
Konta & Zvonareva are scheduled second on Grandstand Court, not before 12:30pm (5:30pm BST).
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