Britain’s Johanna Konta will begin her clay court swing this year with a first round match against China’s Wang Yafan at the Morocco Open. Also in action this week will Kyle Edmund who features at the ATP Munich.
Konta, who was a part of the Great Britain’s Fed Cup team that marched into the World Group II with a win over Kazakhstan, will be up against the Acapulco Open winner Yafan for a place in the second round. Seeded seventh in the tournament, she could face Alize Cornet in her next match if she wins this and will have either second seeded Su-wei Hsieh or Daria Gavrilova for company in her quarter-finals if she manages to get there on what is clearly her least favourite surface.
Last year, Konta’s best performance on clay came at the Rome Open when she made it to the third round but opening losses at the Charleston Open and French Open was an indicator of her struggles on the red dirt. It had been even worse in the two seasons before that, with Konta winning a total of four matches to eight defeats over 2016 and 2017.
Konta is a heavy favourite to win her opening round match against her Chinese opponent who has had her own struggles on this surface.
Edmund’s clay court season hasn’t been very flush either. He won his opening round match at the Marrakech Open before going down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in the second. And then fell in the first round of the Monte-Carlo Masters against Diego Schwartzman.
And he will kick-start his competition at Munich with an opener against Denis Kudla.
Meanwhile, two other Brits failed to make it to the main draw of their respective tournaments, falling in the qualifiers.
Harriet Dart, who was looking to participate in the Morocco Open, lost her opening qualifying match to French player Harmony Tan. Dart went down in straight sets.
On the other hand, Dan Evans won his first round qualifier against Italy’s Lorenzo Giustino in straight sets, and was up a set in the second against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but went down in three. Davidovich Fokina won 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to march into the main draw.