Wimbledon fourth round preview: Ana Konjuh vs Venus Williams

For the second time in a row, Venus Williams is involved in a generation clash, with 19-year-old Ana Konjuh looking to beat the five-time champion.

Wimbledon fourth round preview: Ana Konjuh vs Venus Williams
Ana Konjuh and Venus Williams will face off for the first time this Monday (Getty Images)

The opening match on Centre Court on Monday sees 27th seed Ana Konjuh take on tenth seed and five-time champion Venus Williams for a place in the last eight at Wimbledon.

It will be the first meeting between the two, with this match being a complete generation clash; the second in a row that Williams has taken part in. The winner of this clash will face 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or fourth seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinal.

Road to the fourth round

It certainly has not been an easy journey to the second week for either Konjuh or Williams, though both have undoubtedly impressed to make this stage.

Seeded 27th, Konjuh faced a potentially difficult opening round match against former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, though dropped just five games to the German to reach the second round. She then battled past Irina-Camelia Begu in three sets to reach the third round for the first time since 2014. The Croatian then got one of the best wins of her career to reach the second week, beating eighth seed Dominika Cibulkova in three sets.

Venus Williams in action during her third round victory over Naomi Osaka (Getty/Julian Finney)
Venus Williams in action during her third round victory over Naomi Osaka (Getty/Julian Finney)

Williams did not have a particularly easy opening match against talented young Belgian Elise Mertens, though eventually prevailed in two tight sets. Following that, the five-time champion battled from a set down to beat Qiang Wang, before she once again prevailed in a tight match, seeing off talented young gun Naomi Osaka to reach the second week for a staggering 15th time at the All England Club.

Analysis

One factor that could be important here is the previous opponents that each has faced. Konjuh has undoubtedly faced some trick opponents, though none would have been able to produce the power that Williams can generate, and she will need to be ready for that. In contrast, the American’s previous matches against the likes of Mertens and Osaka, both of whom have a fairly similar playing style to the 27th seed, could stand her in good stead here.

Though she is less experienced than Williams, Konjuh is unlikely to be intimidated by the occasion, and will almost certainly look to be aggressive out on Centre Court. The Croatian cannot afford too many mistakes against such an experienced and consistent opponent, and may have to take every opportunity she gets; she may not get too many.

Ana Konjuh will look to attack as much as possible when she faces the five-time champion on Centre Court (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Ana Konjuh will look to attack as much as possible when she faces the five-time champion on Centre Court (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Williams is the favorite to take the win here, though must be wary against not only a talented opponent but an opponent who is coming off such a big win. The tenth seed should look to attack as much as possible and must be prepared to defend well against an opponent who herself likes to attack. Serving will also be important for the five-time champion, as this could help her get a lot of free points which may be important.

Assessment

This will certainly be one of the bigger-hitting encounters of the day, and the crowd on Centre Court should get a treat if both play well. It seems that with her previous experience at this tournament that Williams will edge this, though it should not be too much of a surprise if Konjuh causes the slight upset.

Prediction: Venus Williams in three sets