Just one spot separates Venus Williams from Johanna Konta in the WTA rankings. Both of these players are on fire in 2017, (just like Woz-Pliskova!) guaranteeing a fantastic match-up.
(11) Venus Williams (No.12) vs (10) Johanna Konta (No.11)
Overview: Venus Williams has rolled back the years in 2017. She started off the year with a withdrawal in Auckland in the second round, but she surprisingly made a run to the Australian Open final there. However she lost in the St.Petersburg second round in a lacklustre performance due to the quick turnaround. Venus then made the quarterfinals of Indian Wells, beating Jelena Jankovic after saving a match point, Lucie Safarova and Peng Shuai before losing to Elena Vesnina. In Miami, she has done even better, not losing a set so far including a quality match over No.1 Angelique Kerber.
Jo Konta is now 17-3 out of the year. Her form dipped after the Australian swing, and the Brit sustained an injury thus had to withdraw from both touranents in the Middle East swing. After an early round exit in Indian Wells, Konta has rebounded in Miami. Konta has not been at her best in Miami but she has been fighting well, starting the week with a scrappy three set win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich before beating Pauline Parmentier and Lara Arruabarrena in straight sets. Konta’s most impressive win in Miami came in the previous round when she recovered from two points of defeat to beat Simona Halep 3-6 7-6 6-2.
Head to head: Konta leads this HTH by 2-1, and has won their two recent encounters, including one in last year’s Stanford final where the Brit beat Venus 7-5 5-7 6-2.
Thoughts: I’m impressed by both players in Miami, but I’ll stick to my original draw prediction of Konta going into the finals. Venus just had a late night match yesterday and might not have enough finesse to play the match to the beat. Meanwhile, Konta is coming off a fantastic comeback and should be able to channel that energy into beating Venus.
Prediction: Konta to beat V.Williams in two