By Ros Satar, in Indian Wells

  • Johanna Konta def. Hsieh Su-Wei [27] 6-0 6-2
  • Konta v Kiki Bertens [7] | H2H: Konta leads 2-1
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA USA – Johanna Konta made light work of Hsieh Su-Wei to earn a third-round clash with Kiki Bertens.

 

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Johanna Konta def. Hsieh Su-Wei [27] 6-0 6-2

Out in the desert, in conditions that probably resembled playing in a tumble dryer, Johanna Konta eased past a tricky opponent in Hsieh Su-Wei, to reach the third round for a second time.

As we have become accustomed to seeing, Konta started swiftly, with two immediate breaks before the first change of ends. Even having to deflect six break points in a lengthy battle before stretching her lead to 4-0, she was still able to break Hsieh and save another three break points before wrapping up the set.

It looked as though we were on for more of the same, as she broke the Taiwanese player at the start of the second set, but Hsieh started to look a lot more settled, even getting her first game on the board. She would hold once more but lost her serve once more setting Konta up to serve out the match comfortably.

She said: “It was quite difficult conditions out there. It was actually quite spectacular (laughs) but both of us were dealing with the same things and although the score-line might seem one way, we had some games [with] was very little in it. I was down 0-40 or [up] 40-0 in quite a few games as well, so overall, I’m quite happy with I think how adaptable I was because I needed to be out there, with just the amount of wind and obviously my opponent as well.

“She’s not the easiest kind of player to play against as well. she’s got a lot of variety, a very unorthodox player that you don’t come up against really anyone else except her, so just happy I think how i was able to deal with all the challenges.”

 

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Konta v Kiki Bertens [7] | H2H: Konta leads 2-1

Kiki Bertens after winning the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2018

Kiki Bertens after winning the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

There was a long gap between the first couple of encounters between Konta and Kiki Bertens, which Konta getting a win to ease ahead in their head-to-head, but a lot has happened since that win in Cincinnati in 2017.

For a start, Bertens had what could almost be described as a breakthrough 2018, proving she was not just a force to be reckoned with on clay, and indeed making up for her second-round loss to Konta in Cincinnati by beating Simona Halep for the Western and Southern Open title in 2018.

It has been a pretty steady year for Bertens so far, making the semi-final in Sydney an winning the title in Saint Petersburg following a very disappointing second round exit at the Australian Open.

What makes Bertens so dangerous is that she is a great all-rounder – she has great shot variety, court coverage and net play. While it is an area that Konta is working hard to improve, Bertens has more feel at the net and if he pulls Konta off the baseline, then the Brit could be vulnerable.

Konta is continuing to strive for improvements in all aspects of her game, and we are beginning to see the signs of a lot more confidence in her game after a rough 18 or so months. However, Bertens might just have a little too much for her at the moment.

Prediction: Bertens in three sets.

Konta and Bertens are scheduled on Stadium 2, not before 12:30pm (7:30pm GMT).

 

 

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One Response

  1. Jon Bailey

    Jo’s utter dominance and confidence in the Hsieh Su-Wei match was primarily due to her having a first serve percentage of over 80%. When Jo serves with such flair, confidence flows through her and she is able to play her ‘A’ game. Her opponent was simply blown away. If Jo serves with the same panache against Kiki Bertens we will have a very interesting contest and my prediction is that Jo will come through a tight match. The first serve percentage needs to be very high.

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