WILL Johanna Konta’s remarkable US Open run continue against Petra Kvitova? Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) gives us his view.
Petra Kvitova v Johanna Konta | Tuesday 00:00 | Sky Interactive
Johanna Konta – Wow. 16 straight wins a row, dropping just four sets, she is in the form of her life at the moment.
I thought she may struggle with fatigue after her record breaking three hours and 23 minute victory over Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza – the longest ever Women’s US Open match – but she showed no signs of it, consolidating her victory over the Spaniard by beating World Number 18 and former quarter-finalist Andrea Petkovic in straight sets.
I was impressed with her post-match interview as well. None of this ‘plucky Brit I’m so lucky to be here’ attitude that so often gets attached to sportspeople in this country who upset the odds, this was just another match to win to her and she’s looking forward to taking on the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the 4th round. Often her downfall up to this year in her career, Konta is in a really good place mentally and her confidence couldn’t be higher.
Petra Kvitova doesn’t like the US Open. In eight attempts she has never made it past the 4th round here. “The courts are not quite as fast as I would like ideally, the humidity and hot weather is not the best for me, and the energy of the place doesn’t really suit my personality” she remarks.
Petra suffers from asthma which is her main problem with playing in New York. “It’s only in America, unfortunately, because it’s more humid than in Europe or Australia, where it’s very hot but not that humid,” Kvitova said. “I think the humidity is the main problem for me, but I have an inhaler so I’m trying to protect it.”
She may have won New Haven, a 90 minute drive away, for the third time in four years directly before here, but she points out that the environment is a lot different. “The conditions (without the humidity) were perfect for me, for sure.”
She’s previously cited that she’s struggled with the favouritism tag. “From round one we face strong opponents and I will be the favourite for most of the matches and that’s tough.”
Last year she lost in the 3rd round 6-4 6-4 to Alexandra Krunic when priced 1/14. 2013 she lost 6-3 6-0 at the same stage to Alison Riske as a 4/11 shot. 2012 another similar story, a 1-6 6-2 6-0 loss to Marion Bartoli as a 2/9 fave in the 4th round. 2011 it was a 1st round exit to Alexandra Dulgheru 7-6 6-3 when 1/12.
The weather for the second week is only set to get tougher with temperatures reaching 80s and to close to 90F most days and will be accompanied with high humidity. When these two take to the court at 7pm local time the humidity is due to be 54% rising to 60% as the match progresses.
With Konta’s form, Petra’s struggles in the taxing conditions and her vulnerability as a short priced favourite, back Johanna to record the biggest win of her career.
Petra Kvitova v Johanna Konta – Konta to win (460/100 Sportingbet)