Konta V Watson at the BNP Paribas Open!
Every year, the BNP Paribas Open finds some very unique ways to throw up some great ties. From the David and Goliath stories we get to often to the national duels that take place, this year we have the former. Johanna Konta is going to take on Heather Watson in all-British battle. Having been solid teammates in the past at the Fed Cup, this opens up a really interesting proposition. Two friends, two allies who know each other so well, are going to come to competing against one another on the court.
Konta came through after she was given a bye into the next round. Watson, meanwhile, had to overcome Nicole Gibbs. She came back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. In fine form herself, both Watson and Konta should have a fair amount of confidence about coming out the victor. One such reason will surely be the rest that Konta enjoyed after the bye; she’s bound to have more left in the tank than her fatigued friend.
Having never came against one another at a WTA match-up, this is sure to be a bit of history for the two companions. It’s likely to be a real clash of the stars, bringing back positive memories of previous Battles of Britain. From Sue Barker and Virginia Slade, though, we’ve had precious little to enjoy from the female British scene.
Even with this battle, one of the seeds – Watson – sits at #108, considerably lower than either Slade or Barker at the time of their meeting. As such, they arrive into the game with a bit of an underdog feel to the whole event.
Another major part of this, though, is the fact that they are such close friends. Having gone to watch Konta in the Australian Open and support her, it’s going to be weird watching two friends who are so close coming up against one another on the tennis court.
Indeed, they were a team as far as last month, when they played in the Fed Cup as a Doubles pairing. They beat the Croatian duo of Donna Vekic and Ana Konjuh 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. This battle is going to be a very impressive match-up, and something well worth watching for tennis fas.
Indeed, the winner will go on to play either Caroline Garcia or Evgeniya Rodina in the third round, whoever progresses.