Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 WTA Tour: Monterrey Open

2020 WTA Tour: Monterrey Open

Tennis player holds racquet

The round of 32 gets underway at the Monterrey Open with Damien Kayat previewing the respective matchups between Johanna Konta and Kim Clijsters as well as 
Victoria Azarenka and Tamara Zidansek.

2020 WTA Tour  | WTA International | Monterrey Open
Club Sonoma, Hard Outdoor
Selected Round of 32 Matches 

Johanna Konta (9/20) 
Kim Clijsters (15/10)
The third comeback of four-time Grand Slam Champion has yet to really get off the ground. The 36-year-old mother of three has said that the competitive spirit and love of the sport has compelled her to take one last shot at the game. She also says she was inspired by what Serena Williams has achieved in recent years. She lost her opening match in Dubai to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets. That was her tournament debut in that event and I find it rather strange that she has once again chosen an event this week that she is yet to play in. Surely it would benefit a player trying to rediscover her best form to search for some familiarity? The Belgian says that she is hitting the ball well in practice sessions and she should have got a lot of confidence from that tight match against Muguruza. 

Johanna Konta is a player struggling to find her own semblance of form in 2019. She has a year-to-date win-loss record of 0-3. She did manage to reach the semi-finals of the doubles event at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy. The 2017 Miami Open Champion still seems to be struggling with issues resulting from a knee injury sustained towards the end of last year. 2019 proved to be quite fruitful for the Brit, especially looking at her Grand Slam runs. She reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros in what was a breakthrough clay-court season for Konta: she also reached the final in Rome. She then reached back-to-back quarterfinals AT Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows. Konta is very much a confidence player and needs to find some momentum following a quite disastrous start to the year. 

With Clijsters returning to the tour after a seven-year hiatus, it’s clear that there will be several players that the Belgian has not played. I think this should be the perfect opportunity for Clijsters to register her first victory on a comeback. The Garbine Muguruza match in Dubai was never the most ideal comeback match for the Belgian. The Spaniard was fresh off an Aussie Open final appearance. Konta is struggling for form and I think the Belgian may take the victory here.  

Victoria Azarenka (4/10) 
Tamara Zidansek (33/20)
Speaking of former World Number Ones desperate to return to relevance; Victoria Azarenka has had to endure a tough couple of years. The two-time Grand Slam Champion had to take a hiatus due to pregnancy, but that turned into a much more torrid affair due to a prolonged custody battle. She also decided to enroll in Harvard Business School at one point, clearly indicating that her priorities were not necessarily tennis-orientated. Azarenka had a fairly underwhelming 2019, performing far better in doubles action than singles tennis: she actually reached the final of the US Open Doubles. But her best result of 2019 came in this event. She reached the final only to pull out after trailing Garbine Muguruza. Perhaps 2020 will be the year that the 30-year-old Belarusian can really return to winning ways. This will actually be her first match of the season after her withdrawal from the Aussie Open due to personal reasons. 

Azarenka will be facing much younger legs in the form of 22-year-old Slovenian Tamara Zidansek. She actually enters this tournament in fairly decent form, reaching the quarterfinal of the Mexican Open. She also made it past the 1st round of the Aussie Open, meaning she will be ready for the heat of battle.  She reached her first-ever WTA Final last week at the Nuremberg Cup.  That result came on clay, which seems to be Zidansek’s favoured surface. Out of 24 ITF Finals, 18 of them have come on clay surfaces. The Slovenian will be counting on undoubted ring-rust on the part of the former World Number One.

This will unsurprisingly be their first-ever meeting with Azarenka spending so much time away from the court. But my feeling is that the Azarenka we get will be motivated. She reached the final here last year and should win here in straight sets at 21/20.  

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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