Konta hoping to extend Paris stay
Originally published on 29/05/17 00:00
With plenty of drama already after two days at the French Open, including the loss of world No.1 Angelique Kerber in the opening round, Konta knows she will have to be at the top of her game to clinch her first main draw match win at Roland Garros.
Konta has a win and a loss against her first-round opponent, Su-Wei Hsieh. The world No.109 from Chinese Taipei won their first encounter in Eastbourne back in 2013, before Konta had her revenge later that year in Vancouver.
“I haven't actually played her for a couple of years,” Konta said. “I had only played her on grass and hard, so haven't played her on this surface, so I think it will be going in there with quite a blank slate. Just a lot of different variables. And I’ll be mostly focusing on what I want to achieve out there – I’ll get as prepared as possible against her game.”
Konta arrives in Paris with a 2-3 win-loss record on clay in 2017, but two of those defeats were valuable learning experiences: against Stuttgart champion Laura Siegemund in Madrid and Venus Williams in Rome, both in three sets.
“My match against Venus I was actually quite pleased with,” Konta said. “I don't think I started off with my best level, but I still managed to really fight my way into the match and tried to find a way. Against Laura in Madrid, compared to the challenges we both faced, the level I produced there I was quite pleased with as well. I played some great players over the last couple of weeks, so I feel pretty happy with the level as I was able to play against on this surface.
“It's not just that I haven't played much on the clay,” she explained. “Obviously I have played in the past, but it's the level of players that I'm playing on the surface, which I haven't had experience in. So I think that's a time factor.”
Nevertheless, the British No.1’s goals remain unchanged from any other top-ranking event on tour.
“I'm looking to apply myself the best I can,” she said. “I'm looking to stay here for as long as possible. I think as long as I feel that I kept growing and I kept improving within the matches, the match that I play, I think that's what's most important to me right now.”