Australian Open third round preview: Caroline Wozniacki vs Johanna Konta

Australian Open third round preview: Caroline Wozniacki vs Johanna Konta

The third round of the Australian Open sees 17th seed Caroline Wozniacki clash with ninth seed Johanna Konta, and this encounter is too close to call, along with it being the first meeting between the two seeded players.

tevon-king
Tevon King

17th seed Caroline Wozniacki continues her resurgent run at the Grand Slams, as the former world number one is still searching to win her first Grand Slam title. The Dane has started 2017 on a good note by reaching the quarterfinals in Auckland, and Sydney losing to Julia Goerges and Barbora Strycova respectively. Wozniacki is still only 26-years-old, and there is still time for her to claim a Grand Slam singles title, and the desire to do that is still there.

Great Britain's ninth seed Johanna Konta has gone from strength to strength in 2017. The British number one started the year, reaching the semifinals in Shenzhen, and she went on to claim her second Premier title of her career in Sydney without dropping a set. Agnieszka Radwanska, the player, who Konta beat in the final was full of praise for Konta's performance and was shocked that she was able to sustain a high level of tennis, throughout the whole match. The Brit will be looking to win a Grand Slam singles title as Wim Fissette, the former coach of Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka has joined her coaching team, and he could take Konta to the next level.

How they got here

Wozniacki's path to the third round in Melbourne for the first time since 2014 has been plain sailing. The 2011 semifinalist thrashed Russian-born Australian, Arina Rodionova in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 in her opening round match. In the following round, the Dane was impressive against Croatia's Donna Vekic, 6-1, 6-3, conserving a lot of energy which is vital if you're going to be a serious contender for the Australian Open.

The ninth seed reached the semifinals in Melbourne, 12 months ago, and like Wozniacki, she has not dropped a set en route to the third round. Konta defeated 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens, 7-5, 6-2 in the first round, and she followed this up with a second round victory over WTA Rising Star, Naomi Osaka.

The Brit has semifinalist points to defend from last year (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)
The Brit has semifinalist points to defend from last year (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)

Their history

This will be the first meeting between Konta and Wozniacki, and this will encounter will be a fascinating one between two players, who are in-form at the moment.

Who wins?

Both players are evenly matched and based on their latest results, Konta will be the slight favourite in this match. The ninth seed's backhand and forehands have been booming, causing plenty of problems for her opponents to deal with. The 25-year-old Brit's serve has been a good weapon in her game, which is the strongest aspect of her game, and she ended 2016 in fourth-placed on the ace list.

Moreover, the former world number one will be crafty in this match with Konta. The 17th seed is extremely fit, and she will get balls back in play, and she will extend the points in long rallies, which she excels in. However, Wozniacki usually struggles to deal with the firepower of opponent's who are stronger than her. Konta is an extremely talented athlete in her own right, and you can expect this third round encounter to have plenty of extended rallies.

Wozniacki has a tough test on her hands (Photo by Scott Barbour / Getty Images)
Wozniacki has a tough test on her hands (Photo by Scott Barbour / Getty Images)

Both players are drawn in the bottom half of the draw, which is tougher than the top half of the draw. The winner of this match will play sixth seed and 2014 finalist Dominika Cibulkova or 30th seed and 2015 semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round. A potential quarterfinal clash with second seed Serena Williams could be on the card, and a semifinal clash with fifth seed and last year's US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova just shows the quality of this side of the draw, and how tough it will be to progress to the final.

This will be the third match scheduled in the Margaret Court Arena, following the men's singles third round match between Dominic Thiem and Benoit Paire.

Prediction: Wozniacki in three sets

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