Johanna Konta serves her way into first WTA final

Wilson Blade 9

Saturday afternoon at the Bank of the West Classic, Johanna Konta (GBR) defeated Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 6-4, 6-2, earning her place in the Sunday’s singles final.

Johanna Konta - 2016 Australian Open -DSC_0463__1463510140_94.189.172.205

This match was all about Konta’s serve and steady hand. The first set lasted 38 minutes. Konta captured the break early, in Cibulkova’s second service game. While Cibulkova made adjustments and got her service game back on track today, Konta was a cut above. Cibulkova held serve the rest of the set, but could not overcome her opponent. The third-seeded Konta had several serves near the 115 MPH range. Her placement, accuracy and power put pressure on Cibulkova and produced the win.

Dominika Cibulkova

In the second set, Konta kept her serves on point and produced four aces. Her first serve points won percentage was an amazing 93% for the match. In contrast, Cibulkova’s second serve let her down, as she won only 33%. Cibulkova’s baseline strokes were not enough to push Konta today. Konta displayed variety and depth, moving from defense to offense and coming in to net. Konta played efficient tennis, keeping her service games short. This was a great achievement on such a hot day. In press, Cibulkova gave Konta credit for exceptional placement and keeping the serve difficult to read.

Konta now has the opportunity to win both Bank of the West Classic singles and doubles titles. Stanford would be her first WTA career title. Judging from her performance today, she will be a formidable opponent. Konta spoke of working with her breath as a key to staying composed and focused.

Currently ranked No. 18, Konta has achieved her best career result to date. The 25-year-old is on the move. In 2015, she climbed 100+ spots in the WTA rankings, ending the year at No. 47. She shows no signs of slowing down. As the British No.1, she will represent her country at the Rio Olympics alongside Andy Murray.


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