Unseeded Johanna Konta faces dangerous Frenchwoman, 6th seeded Caroline Garcia, in the 1st round of the US Open 2018. Konta might appreciate the role reversal. Last year she went into the US Open as the 7th seed and in the 1st round to AlexandraKrunic. This year, the pressure is off.
Konta in Self-Proclaimed Better Mental State This Year
The British No. 1 used the US Open press day to proclaim her mental readiness this year:
“(I’m) definitely in a better mental and emotional space.“
This comment came after she mused upon the defeat last year. A year on, she still doesn’t have a real explanation for it. Yet it was the start of a steep downward slide that sees he unseeded this year. Her ranking drop has meant she has played tougher first round matches on the WTA tour. As a result, she hasn’t had as much match time coming into this tournament. Konta’s mental toughness will be fully tested against Garcia – who has the natural talent to just turn it on. Garcia, at her best, ups her game just when her opponent is settling into a rhythm.
A flu type virus caused Konta to withdraw from Connecticut in the 2nd round last week. This will have disrupted her preparations, although she claims to be fully recovered.
Caroline Garcia Having Unspectacular Season so Far
Injury disrupted the start of Garcia’s season and she hasn’t come close to hitting the heights of last season. That saw her edge out Johanna Konta to the post for a WTA Finals spot. This is sure to give this match an added edge. A quarterfinal loss to Simona Halep at the WTA Rogers Cup represents Garcia’s best performance on this North American hard court stretch. Although, it’s easy to get the sense that Garcia is building up her form for a decent end to the season.
Konta has Slender Head-to-Head Advantage
The Brit shades the head-to-head 3-2. An entertaining and tight fourth-round three-set victory for Konta at Wimbledon last season represents the pair’s last meeting. To even things out, Garcia took the last hard court meeting, at Indian Wells 2017.
This Match is About the First Serve
Garcia’s penchant for the drop-shot could draw Konta in a bit more than she might like in order to try and stop it. Ultimately, this match centres around who establishes a stronger first serve. Both players are at their best behind a thunderous and accurate first serve. Konta has improved this area of her game of late.
Puig or Voegele Await the Winner in the 2nd Round
Both Garcia and Konta know that a victory could pave the way for a great tournament. Neither of them will fear their second round opponent. Garcia has a recent victory over Puig to boost her confidence should that match up occur. Expect a tense Great Britain vs France contest in this mouthwatering first round encounter. There’s a lot at stake.