Manic Monday is upon us with a whole host of great matchups across both draws, especially in the Women’s tournament. Despite her 5 titles at Wimbledon, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Centre Court being opened by Venus Williams and her opponent Ana Konjuh. Venus has found it difficult in recent years to get onto Centre Court, something you wouldn’t expect for such an illustrious player. Check out the Williams vs Konjuh Head to Head stats.
A big hitting clash can be assured with both players being very attacking players. Although the consistency may not be there at times, Konjuh does have the variety in her game that some of the other young heavy hitters do not have. She has already beaten two Grand Slam finalists already in Dominika Cibulkova and Sabine Lisicki while being part of doubles teams that have taken out handy pairings in both Women’s Doubles and the Mixed Doubles. She hit 54 winners in her win over Cibulkova in the last round, managing to avoid the same fate she inflicted on the Slovakian in the first set. She came from 1-5 down to win the first set and held a 5-1 lead in the decider only to get a little nervy. She regained her composure just in time to serve it out and make the second week of a slam for just the second time.
After a decidedly shaky performance in round two, Venus was much improved to take out Naomi Osaka in straight sets. The Japanese youngster gave it her best though and Venus will be relieved to have got through the match without it being too much trouble. “She played an amazing match today. She really played a match that was worth — she deserved to win. But these sort of matches are always so close.” she said of Osaka.
It was at last year’s US Open that Konjuh made the quarter finals of a grand slam for the first time, 3 years after winning the junior event. She may not have matched that at Wimbledon but has shown plenty in her young career to suggest she will be challenging at SW19 for many years to come. She already has a Nottingham title to her name and really should have defeated the then World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon last year. She lost that match 9-7 in the deciding set but may be able to get a statement slam win this time round with Centre Court there to witness it.
Prediction – Ana Konjuh in three sets