Previously winless at the French Open, Johanna Konta has a legitimate chance of making the quarter-finals at this year’s French Open. The in-form Brit plays Viktoria Kuzmova with the winner going on to face either Belinda Bencic or Donna Vekic in the fourth round.
Konta had never amounted to a great deal on the clay with her record in Paris huge proof of that. Something seems to have clicked in the past month though, with finals in Rabat and more impressively – Rome. She has carried on that form here, beating Antonia Lottner and Lauren Davis to get to her first French Open third round, her best slam run since 2017 Wimbledon. Her hard work appears to be paying off but the Brit never had a lack of confidence on the surface even if the results were often sub-par. “I’ve always felt that I have a game that has the ability to do well on this surface. It’s unfortunate in the previous couple years I didn’t get as many opportunities as I would have liked to have done better results-wise. However, I never really felt inadequate on the surface in any way.” she said in Rome.
Kuzmova continues to improve and the 21 year-old can achieve a career high inside the top 40 if she wins this match. Her wins in Madrid were the pick of her clay season so far, although that did end abruptly with a double bagel handed to her by Simona Halep. She beat Alize Cornet in round one before an ill Kiki Bertens handed her the win early on in round two, retiring when the Slovakian was 3-1 up in the first set.
“I’m definitely playing good tennis right now. I’m competing well. When I’m presented with tough situations out there, I keep a cool head. I’m managing to problem-solve well, which makes me difficult to play.” Konta said after her match. With things coming together for her, this could provide the inspiration for her to surge back up the rankings. She was as high as No.4 2 years ago but before Rome, was ranked outside top 40.
Prediction – Johanna Konta in straight sets