By Ros Satar

  • Katie Boulter v Sofia Kenin [5]
  • Johanna Konta v Varvara Flink [Q]
ACAPULCO, MEXICO – Fed Cup heroes Katie Boulter and Johanna Konta go again as spots in the quarter-finals beckon.

 

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Katie Boulter v Sofia Kenin [5] | First Meeting

Katie Boulter in the Fed Cup tie between Great Britain and Slovenia in Bath, UK 2019

Katie Boulter in the Fed Cup tie between Great Britain and Slovenia in Bath, UK 2019 | (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)

British No. 2 Katie Boulter edged past Conny Perrin in tight straight sets as she opened her Acapulco debut. In fact, it was Perrin who was the first to put the Brit under pressure, unable to capitalise on her first two break point chances. The same was true for Boulter who struggled to convert two chances of her own in successive games, before finally getting her breakthrough, breaking for the first set.

The second set was very competitive between the pair with one match point going begging for Boulter before making good on her second chance, breaking for the match.

The path was a little easier for the No. 5 seed Sofia Kenin, who eased into the second round after a topsy-turvy game against Rebecca Peterson with only one hold apiece in a sea of breaks, before Peterson retired at 3-4 down.

Kenin started the year as one of the in-form players heading into the Australian Open, picking up the Hobart title, but could only manage the second round in Melbourne, a Fed Cup loss and a couple of rounds in Dubai.

If anything, maybe it is Boulter that comes into this round a little more battle-hardened after four tough wins in Fed Cup. But there is no denying that Kenin has picked up some valuable experience in a very short space of time.

Kenin has added a bit more weight to her groundstrokes and is a feisty, entertaining player to watch. Matching up against Boulter’s aggressive baseline play, the Brit might rely on her first serve to get her a few free points, but if Kenin wises up to the fact she tries to search for her forehand to back up her serve.

In Boulter’s favour though is her on court demeanour – she has a steady keel and if she can frustrate Kenin, she can make it difficult for the young American.

Prediction: Kenin in three sets.

 

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Johanna Konta v Varvara Flink [Q] | First Meeting

British No. 1 Johanna Konta redressed the balance against Laura Siegemund with a solid aggressive performance against her doubles partner for this week. Breaking early in the first set, Konta held onto that lead in a tight and competitive set to go 1-0 up. The second set was no less competitive, certainly at the start before Konta delivered the final blows with two straight breaks of Siegemund’s serve before serving out the match to love.

Next up for her is qualifier Varvara Flink. It is never easy to face a qualifier whose confidence will be up after two tough qualifying rounds and then an easier than expected advance after Amanda Anisimova retired in the first set.

Flink can play a little defensively on her forehand and on balance her backhand side is a little more solid and tends to shy away from playing as aggressively as we are normally used to seeing Konta play. Experience really should come to the fore where Konta is concerned, and again it is worth taking heart from her level of fight and determination at the Fed Cup.

Prediction: Konta in straight sets.

 

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