Johanna Konta will reignite her rivalry with Donna Vekic on Sunday in their fourth round clash at the French Open. The pair have played six times so far, with the head to head tied at 3-3. The two had a notable pair of three set clashes on the grass in 2017 but the other 4 were easy straight sets wins for the victor.
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Vekic had won just three matches in Paris before this year, getting much more success on quicker grass and hard court surfaces. She was decidedly impressive in blasting Belinda Bencic off court in the previous round, serving 8 aces and hitting 25 winners in a dominant 6-4 6-1 win.
Likewise, Konta had never really amounted to much on the clay but this year a switch does appear to have been flicked. Finals in Rabat and Rome were a sign of things to come as she has navigated the first three rounds of the tournament without too much trouble. A potentially tricky matchup with Viktoria Kuzmova turned out to be anything but with just 55 minutes needed to finish off the Slovakian 6-2 6-1. “If you get the chance to win matches back to back you are able to draw a lot of things a little easier than if you haven’t had that. I think you trust yourself a bit easier.” she said on her upturn in form. “Like I have said over the last number of weeks, I have never doubted my form on clay.”
“We’ve had plenty of really great battles and, preceding that one at Wimbledon, we had a really good match in the final at Nottingham where she won. I’ve lost our last two encounters so I’m really looking forward to playing her again.” Konta said on the matchup. She will seek to move closer to a third grand slam semi final although the winner of the Sloane Stephens-Garbine Muguruza clash is sure to be a testing opponent.
Prediction – Johanna Konta in three sets