World number 13 Johanna Konta will be up against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round of the 2020 WTA Italian Open on Thursday, September 17. The match will be played some time after 1 pm local time (12 noon BST) local time. Get the live streaming options of this Johanna Konta v Irina-Camelia Begu match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Johanna Konta v Irina-Camelia Begu Head to Head
This will be the first ever meeting between Konta and the 77th-ranked Begu.
Konta Finds Momentum at the Cincinnati Open
Konta’s trysts with clay courts have been quite interesting. And following on from her semifinal appearance at the Cincinnati Open and second round exit at the US Open it would be worth following her journey over the next few weeks.
Because following on from three very poor seasons on clay, in which Konta won just seven of the 19 matches she played, not too much was expected out of her clay swing campaign in 2019. It turned out to be her best performance on red dirt by some distance.
It began with her showing at the Rabat Open where she reached the final before losing to Maria Sakkari, and she then followed it up with her best performance at the Italian Open. At Rome last year, Konta made it past Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, Marketa Vondrousova and Kiki Bertens to reach the title-decider where she finally went down to Karolina Pliskova.
And continuing with that form on, Konta became a semifinalist at the French Open – only her third instance of reaching the semifinal at a Grand Slam and for a player with very well-chronicled struggles on clay before that, a remarkable turnaround.
Can Konta kick-start her clay campaign this curtailed season in a similar fashion?
Prague Semifinalist Begu Aiming to Go Deeper
Some of Begu’s best results over her career have come on clay. This includes Grand Slam tennis competitions at which she has made it to the fourth round on two occasions including once at Roland-Garros, and at the WTA Premier tournaments.
Begu has been a semifinalist at the Italian Open, the only time she got that far in a Premier competition and two-time quarterfinalist at the Madrid Open. And earlier this season, after having been bundled out in the first round of the Palermo Open, Begu came back strongly to beat Anastasija Sevastova, Leonie Kung and Sara Sorribes Tormo and make it as far as the last four.
Simona Halep needed to play out of her skin to overcome Begu in that encounter and while the latter was knocked out in the first round at the US Open, she has returned to the venue of her best performance with two successive qualifier wins and then defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the opening round in straight sets.
Could be an interesting tussle with Konta here.
Konta v Begu Prediction and Tip
Speaking of tussles and it’s the same from the bookmakers who have Begu as a slight favourite here at 4/5 as compared to Konta who starts at 10/11. Those look tempting odds for the Brit.
Tip: Konta to win: 10/11 (bet365)