By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [2] v Kim Clijsters [WC] | First meeting
  • Konta still in search of confidence after lengthy injury break last year
  • Clijsters ‘improving’
MONTERREY, MEXICO – Johanna Konta and Kim Clijsters are both looking for match-play and in Konta’s case – confidence, as they face off in the opener.

 

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Johanna Konta [2] v Kim Clijsters [WC] | First meeting

Match-play and confidence are the watch-words for this match, as British No. 1 Johanna Konta is still very much in search of the latter as she continues to try and find form after a knee injury caused her to shut down her 2019 season early.

Konta is still without a win this year, with just three matches under her belt, and although she is seeded No. 2 in Monterrey, drawing the returning Kim Clijsters is a far from ideal opening round.

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Clijsters made her tour comeback in Dubai and put out an impressive showing against Australian Open finalist Garbiñe Muguruza, pushing the two=time Grand Slam champion to a competitive tie=-break in the second set.

As reported by the WTA, Clijsters has felt she has improved on many aspects of her game – movement, reactions and decision making, and is hungry for match-play to put that into practice.

The Belgian was generally regarded as one of the game’s best counterpunchers with exceptional defence down to her movement and anticipation. She showed in her comeback match she had lost none of her aggressive play either and can be expected to match Konta blow for blow in that respect.

For Konta it will be about adapting to Clijsters pattern of looking to stay in rallies and controlling the game from the baseline. Konta has worked hard on improving her feel at the net coming forward but is still capable of some howlers – but at least she is trying.

Clijsters will be testing out Konta’s knee – the Brit admitted that throughout 2019 she had been managing the injury before closing down her season after the US Open. She has not been wearing any strapping and has been also hitting the doubles court, reaching the semi-finals in St Petersburg with Caroline Garcia. She will be playing doubles with top seed Elina Svitolina in Monterrey.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

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