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Monterrey Open 2020: Kim Clijsters vs Johanna Konta, match preview and prediction

  • Can Kim Clijsters spring a surprise against a struggling Johanna Konta in just her second match since returning to tennis?
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 03 Mar 2020, 20:44 IST

Kim Clijsters continues her return to the sport in Monterrey.
Kim Clijsters continues her return to the sport in Monterrey.

A returning Kim Clijsters is all set to square off against second seed and former top-five star Johanna Konta in the first round of the 2020 Monterrey Open.

A showcase match in making, the encounter will see the two women lock horns for the first time in their careers, with Konta becoming a feature of the elite tour only about a couple of years following Clijsters second retirement.

The Belgian has been unlucky with the draws on her return as Konta is her second top-20 oppenent (following Garbine Muguruza in Dubai) in as many matches.


Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta's groundstrokes will be a challenge for Clijsters.

Konta, for one, has struggled for form in 2020 following a revival of sorts in the previous season. The British No. 1 has played in three major tournaments this year, but is still looking for her first win of the season.

And while Konta did come up against talented opposition, she was expected to win those matches. She walks into this match as a huge favourite as well and it will be interesting to see her handle the situation.

On her good days, Konta is one of the best strikers of the ball. Her characteristic flat groundstrokes work really well on the faster hardcourts, much like the ones in Montreal.


Clijsters showed signs of her best tennis in her opening match in Dubai.
Clijsters showed signs of her best tennis in her opening match in Dubai.

And while that does not bode well for Clijsters, there are a few things that the Belgian has going for herself. For starters, she showed sparks of brilliance, especially with her movement and baseline game.

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If only her serve comes up to scratch, Clijsters is perfectly capable of playing a competitive match at even the highest of levels.

There is bound to be some rust with such a long gap and it will need more than single match to get back to the level that she is capable of playing, but a win against a struggling top player will definitely do her confidence a great deal of good.

Prediction: Clijsters to win in three sets

Published 03 Mar 2020, 20:44 IST
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