Johanna Konta is burning through the 2019 Roland Garros women’s draw like a runaway bushfire.
Have a look at these scorelines.
- Rd 1 def. A. Lottner 6-4, 6-4
- Rd 2 def. L. Davis 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
- Rd 3 def. V. Kuzmova 6-2, 6-1
- Rd 4 def. D. Vekic 6-2, 6-4
- Qtrs def. S. Stephens 6-1, 6-4
She has hit 53 forehand winners, 38 backhand winners, and crushed 25 aces. All amazing stats, but rally length is without doubt her most impressive stat of all. She is putting up better “First Strike” numbers on clay than Roger Federer puts up on hardcourt!
Konta Rally Length – Points Played
- 0-4 Shots = 72.5% (435)
- 5-8 Shots = 23.7% (142)
- 9+ Shots = 3.8% (23)
Konta has only played 23 points where the rally count has been nine shots or more. She is attacking first and taking control of the point.
She has played 435 points at Roland Garros where the maximum amount of shots she has hit in the point is just TWO SHOTS. Now remember, the serve and return count in that as well. So it’s a Serve then a Serve +1, or it’s a Return and then a Return +1 groundstroke.
Konta dismanted Sloane Stephens in the quarter-finals. Stephens had played 123 points in 9+ rallies to the quarters, relying on staying back and being consistent like the traditional clay court mantra dictates. The only problem for Stephens was that she had a losing record, winning 61 and losing 63.
How many 9+ rallies did Konta allow Stephens to play? Just TWO, and Konta won them both!
The second impressive part of Konta’s rally length data is the advantage she has in short rallies when you add up all the points she has won versus lost. Feast your eyes on this…
Konta Rally Length – Points Won/Lost
- 0-4 Shots: 255 won / 180 lost = +75
- 5-8 Shots = 70 won / 72 lost = -2
- 9+ Shots = 14 won / 9 lost = +5
It’s crystal clear what’s Konta’s game plan is. Attack the opponent and force an error before they can attack you. In the Brain Game Tennis strategy course, Dirtballer, you learn that the most important stat to win in a clay court match is the 0-4 rally length. This is just further proof.
Here’s the average rally length of Konta’s five matches to the semi-finals
Konta: Average Rally Length
- Def. Lottner = 3.3 shots
- Def. Davis = 3.5 shots
- Def. Kuzmova = 3.0 shots
- Def. Vekic = 3.5 shots
- Def. Stephens = 3.4 shots
On average, the returner does not get to hit two balls in the court.
Konta’s semi-final opponent is Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Repulblic. Marketa has played 99 rallies of 0-4 coming into the semi-final, winning 50 and losing 49. Those are similar kind of numbers as Stephens. If they want to play so many long rallies, they better forge a sizeable advantage there – but neither have.
It’s fair to say that Konta will impose her will on this match again and take away all the long rallies that opponents like to play.
All the best,