Friday, 13 January 2017

Johanna Konta wins Sydney

I didn't see this coming.  Johanna Konta was always a chance to win against Aga Radwanska in the Apia International final, but to see the way she clinically disposed of the second seed, never allowing her to settle, was unexpected, and ultra impressive.

Aga, as is usually the case, kept things tidy in the first set, with an exceptional first serve percentage allowing her the best chance to win points on serve.  This however did not prevent the power and depth of the Konta ground strokes from pushing Radwanska back to an unfamiliar defensive position in a number of instances.

Enough of the power, laced with precision, forced a service break and that was sufficient to parcel up the opening set 6-4 to Konta.

Set two became a triumphal march for Johanna who broke the Aga serve straight away and with it apparently any real resistance.  The first serve percentage for Aga dropped dramatically, and accordingly Johanna feasted on the relatively impotent second deliveries.

Konta faced no pressure on her serve, never having to deal with a break point, and once she had achieved a second break of the Radwanska serve, the title was effectively hers.

6-4 6-2 and the 2016 Apia International became WTA title number two for Johanna Konta, and players such as Dominika Cibulkova and Serena Williams will need to be on their best form in Melbourne because Johanna is in their section of the Aus Open draw.

The Hobart final will see experienced third seed Monica Niculescu take on 21 year old qualifier Elise Mertens.  Niculescu didn't have to lift a racquet as Lesia Tsurenko handed her a semi final walkover. Mertens defeated fellow qualifier Jana Fett easily in the other semi.

Fourth seed Jack Sock will play unseeded Joao Sousa in the Auckland final following straight sets victories over Steve Johnson and Marcos Baghdatis in respective semi finals.

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