World number 18 Johanna Konta will be up against 50th-ranked Jelena Ostapenko in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Monday, May 9. Get the live streaming options of this Johanna Konta v Jelena Ostapenko match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Johanna Konta v Jelena Ostapenko Head to Head
There have been previous WTA matches played between Konta and Ostapenko before this and one at the Fed Cup level. It’s 2-2 on the WTA circuit with Konta having won their Fed Cup tie in 2017.
Their only match on clay, incidentally, came in Rome in 2018 and Ostapenko had overturned a set deficit to pocket that encounter.
Ostapenko 9-8 This Season
Ostapenko was once ranked fifth in the world but those were completely different times as compared to today. She had won the French Open title and followed it up with another one Seoul and the number one spot was within her grasp.
Things petered out quite quickly after that and while Ostapenko did win one more title in 2019, her overall performances haven’t been the best since.
Take this year for example. The Latvian player made the third round at the Gippsland Trophy early in the season and more recently reached the same stage in Miami.
She defeated a struggling Kiki Bertens in Doha and overcame Paula Badosa at St. Petersburg but other than that, however, Ostapenko has flattered to deceive. Can she now overcome another player who has barely shown to be at her best?
2019 Finalist Konta Also in Strife
While Ostapenko has won nine of her 17 matches this year, Konta has played only eight and triumphed in a measely three of them. In none of those tournaments has won more than one match anyway.
Konta’s most recent victory came at the Madrid Open where the 2019 finalist surprised Yulia Putintseva in the first round in straight sets but facing another Latvian player Anastasija Sevastova in the second, Konta went down 6-3, 6-3.
This follows an abysmal 2020 season where Konta had an 8-9 win-loss record and was 1-2 on clay. Her only win last season on red dirt came at this very tournament as she overcame Irina Begu but followed that up with crushing losses at the hands of Garbine Muguruza and Cori Gauff in Rome and Paris.
Can Konta now get back into some sort of a rhythm coming into this encounter before the big one in Paris? A fighting performance would go a long way despite starting out as a second favourite here.
Konta v Ostapenko Prediction and Tip
Interestingly, despite Ostapenko’s lower rank, she is 4/6 to win this given she has played a few more competitions than her opponent. Konta has been around in only five of them has generally been underwhelming.
Backing Ostapenko to come through here.