Johanna Konta vs. Zhang Shuai
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 26, 2016, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Johanna Konta and Shuai Zhang face off in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open.
Johanna Konta is coming off a three set victory over Ekaterina Makarova and has dropped one set this tournament. Konta is getting at least 51 percent of her first serves in play and is winning no less than 68 percent of those points. Konta has racked up 52 winners in her last two matches and has had 22 or less unforced errors in her first three matches. Konta has clearly been the surprise of the tournament, which started with a win over Venus Williams in the first round. Konta can build on this success by getting her first serve in play at a higher percentage. This is Konta’s first grand slam quarterfinal appearance. Konta never made it out of the second round of a grand slam until last year’s US Open.
Shuai Zhang is coming off a three set win over Madison Keys and has dropped one set this tournament. Zhang is getting at least 67 percent of her first serves in play and is winning no less than 60 percent of those points. Zhang has racked up 41 winners in her last two matches and has had 32 or less unforced errors in all four of her matches. This is by far the most success Zhang has ever had in a grand slam, as she’s accomplished far more in her career as a doubles player. This experience should only help the 27-year-old take that next step. This is Zhang’s first quarterfinal appearance in a grand slam. Zhang previously never made it out of the first round of a grand slam.
These two have split their previous two meetings, as Zhang won in Guangzhou in 2013, while Konta won in the 2012 US Open. Konta won her match in three sets while Zhang won hers in straight sets. This will be the third time Konta and Zhang meet on hard court.
This is a matchup between the two Cinderellas of the tournament. And while Zhang was probably the more improbable quarterfinalist, you have to side with Konta in this match. Konta is not only a tad bit more experienced, but she also is playing better tennis and has knocked off some tougher players. Konta also has help from the home crowd being from Australia.