US Open 2019: Johanna Konta ‘grown as a player’ since losing to Karolina Pliskova

Johanna Konta

US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

British number one Johanna Konta says she has “grown as a player” since losing to Karolina Pliskova in May, as she prepares to face the Czech third seed in the US Open last 16 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old beat Konta in straight sets in the Italian Open final.

Konta, 28, has since reached the French Open semi-finals and made the last eight at Wimbledon, and has looked in good form so far at Flushing Meadows.

“I am looking forward to seeing how I can do a bit better,” Konta said.

The world number 16, who beat Chinese 33rd seed Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3 in the last round, says she hopes to “ask some better questions this time around” against Pliskova.

They are second on Louis Armstrong Stadium with the match not expected to start before 17:30 BST.

“I like to think that I’ve grown as a player since Rome,” said Konta, who has dropped one set so far at this tournament.

“More than anything, it’s decision making and also probably in terms of when I play certain things or how I play certain things.

“I think just general awareness of being on court, just being aware of what my opponents are doing.”

She added: “I’m putting a lot of time and effort into being very open to the game when I’m out on court. I think that’s something that has been getting better for me.

“I feel like it’s enabled me to just play more relevant to the opponent that I have.”

Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova<!–

Pliskova’s 6-3 6-4 victory in Rome was her sixth win in seven matches against Konta and earned her a 14th WTA singles title, compared with the Briton’s three.

However, the 2016 US Open champion was taken to three sets by Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the last round before coming through 6-1 4-6 6-4.

“She [Konta] has had a great year, as she did in 2017, although she had a tough one last year,” Pliskova said in her BBC Sport column.

“She can be a little bit up and down but of course she is a dangerous player.

“Johanna has a lot of weapons – a good serve, good groundstrokes – and is playing with more variety here. So it will be very difficult.”

The winner will face Ukraine’s fifth seed Elina Svitolina or American 2017 runner-up Madison Keys in the quarter-finals.

Federer, Djokovic and Williams in action

Also on Sunday, five-time champion Roger Federer and world number one Novak Djokovic are in action in the men’s draw, while Serena Williams continues to chase a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title in the women’s singles.

Swiss third seed Federer, 38, faces Belgian David Goffin after seeing off Britain’s Dan Evans in the third round and insisting he does not “call the shots” when it comes to scheduling.

That match will take place first on Arthur Ashe and will be followed by Williams against Croatia’s Petra Martic.

American eighth seed Williams, a six-time champion in New York, said she had “a lot of intensity” in her win over Czech Karolina Muchova in the third round.

Top seed Djokovic takes on Stan Wawrinka in a repeat of the 2016 final, when the Swiss beat Djokovic to claim the most recent of his three Grand Slams.

Meanwhile, Australia’s world number two Ashleigh Barty will play first on Louis Armstrong when she takes on Chinese 18th seed Wang Qiang.

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