Vandeweghe vs Konta 22.06.17
Aegon Classic, Birmingham, England, Grass Courts, WTA Tour
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Today sees us preview a very eagerly anticipated Round 2 encounter from the Aegon classic, Birmingham, England, between American world number 30, Coco Vandeweghe and British world number 7, Johanna Konta.
This will be the pair’s first played meeting, they were due to face each other on the hard courts of Rancho Santa Fe, USA back in 2012, however Vandeweghe picked up an injury so the match was never played. Both started their grass court campaigns last week, Vandeweghe disappointingly lost in the First Round at Hertogenbosch, Holland in three sets to Carina Witthoeft, whereas Konta got all the way to the Final in Nottingham, losing to Donna Vekic in three sets, a match she probably should have won.
Aegon Classic Results So Far…
Vandeweghe opened her campaign this week against fellow countrywoman, Christina McHale, a match she won comfortably in straight sets 6-4 6-2.
Konta also had a straight sets victory in Round 1, 6-3 7-6 against Lesia Tsurenko, a match that looked trickier than it proved on paper.
Vandeweghe’s recent grass court mean serving stats look like this, she’s won 65% of her service points and held serve 80% of the time.
Konta’s recent grass court mean serving stats look like this, she’s won 65% of his service points and held serve 87% of the time.
Both players have equally big serves, and we will see plenty of aces and winners from the service line today. Don’t expect too many breaks, unless either player’s first serve % is uncharacteristically low.
Vandeweghe’s recent grass court mean returning stats look like this, she’s won 40% of her return points, 60% of her break points and opponents have held 77% of the time against her.
Konta’s recent grass court mean returning stats look like this, she’s won 44% of her return points, 39% of her break points and opponents have held 61% of the time against her.
Konta certainly has the better return of serve, she will put more balls back in play than Vandeweghe, however her break point conversion % is a concern, assuming this is substantially increased today, I think she stands a chance of breaking the American at least once in each set. Vandeweghe on the other hand may has a very high break point conversion %, if she is to stand any chance of breaking today, she will need to keep this number high and try to get an early read on the Brit’s serve.
Both players will look attack right from the off, they both posses great power off both the forehand and the backhand sides and we will certainly see plenty of winners today. Neither defend as well as they attack, however Konta will do this better than Vandewghe, being the slightly better athlete. Both are predominantly baseline players, so don’t expect too many advances to the net, and with the courts playing fast here in Birmingham this week, don’t expect many rallies over 3-5 shots.
This is an interesting matchup, both players have practically identical playing styles, I just think Konta is a slightly better version of Vandeweghe. There should be little to separate them on serve, however Konta should make life slightly more difficult for the American when returning. The Brit will be heavily cheered on by the home crowd, something that Vandeweghe has often struggled against in the past, this is another factor certainly worth considering. I think this match is won by the more consistent player on the day, and based on current form that’s likely to be Konta. It shouldn’t be an easy ride for the Brit though, I expect at least one tiebreak and possibly three sets.
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