Last Updated: 26/05/18 10:48am
Johanna Konta is confident she can break her French Open duck this year.
The British No 1 faces Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan in the first round as she bids to win a main draw match at Roland Garros for the first time.
Konta, 27, insists she is feeling at home on the clay following her run to the last 16 of last week’s Italian Open, where she eventually lost to reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
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Even one victory in Paris would be a welcome boost ahead of the grass-court season where Konta, who has slipped to 22 in the world, has many ranking points to defend.
“This year preparation wise I’ve had some really great matches on the clay,” she said.
“I feel like, regardless of surface, I’m playing better and better so I’m hoping to continue that here and keep building on that.
“I back myself in every way to be able to go deep into the tournament, go on to the end, but it starts with the first round.
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“I feel very comfortable on this surface. I’ve also simplified a lot of things for the clay season this year; I’ve worked hard on not over-thinking it and just trusting in my movement and how it’s pretty much the same with all surfaces – I’m there to get behind the ball.”
Putintseva has a reputation as a fiery opponent but Konta has won both of their previous meetings.
“She’s an incredibly feisty player, a very tough competitor so I’m fully prepared and really looking forward to a tough and competitive match in that way,” added Konta.
“I’m looking forward to building on myself and strengthening the level that I want to play, the presence and style of play I want to bring to the court, and really enjoying the challenges I face out there – and there will be many.”
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