Jelena Ostapenko vs Johanna Konta live streaming, preview and tips: Ostapenko aims to reach the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals for the first time in Rome

Hannah Wilks in WTA 17 May 2018
  • French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko takes on Johanna Konta for a place in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia
  • Ostapenko vs Konta Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 
Jelena Ostapenko (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Johanna Konta beat Jelena Ostapenko on grass last summer – can the French Open champion get revenge on clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday? 

Jelena Ostapenko vs Johanna Konta Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis is streamed live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST. Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko is out to book a place in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals for the very first time as she faces Johanna Konta in Rome.

Ostapenko has never failed to win back-to-back matches at the Foro Italico in two previous appearances at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, making the third round in 2016 and reaching the second round as a qualifier in 2017 – and she also hasn’t lost to anyone in Rome apart from Garbine Muguruza, who ended both runs. Can the Latvian keep both streaks alive as she takes on Johanna Konta in the round of 16 on Thursday?

With her French Open title defense looming, Ostapenko came into Rome with mixed results on clay so far in 2018: The Miami Open runner-up beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova in Fed Cup and Zarina Diyas in Stuttgart, all three on indoor clay, before losing to eventual champion Karolina Pliskova in three tight sets at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, but she hadn’t won a match on outdoors clay, losing to Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open.

As her out-of-nowhere run to the Roland Garros title last summer while unseeded, ranked world no. 47 and never having won a WTA Tour title showed us, though, Ostapenko is perfectly capable of finding form out of nowhere, and she played well in her opening match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, defeating Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5 on Tuesday night. Ostapenko got off to a fast start, reeling off a 4-0 lead, generally dominating the first set and breaking to start the second,  and although Zhang finally got her own fast forehand into play midway through the second set, Ostapenko was in no mood to hang around on a late-night Court Centrale, reeling off the final three games of the match to close out a straight-sets win with 27 winners into the bargain.

Ostapenko is now one win away from making her fourth quarterfinal of the 2018 season after making the last eight in St Petersburg and Stuttgart and finishing runner-up to Sloane Stephens in Miami – and she will hope to avenge last year’s Eastbourne defeat to Johanna Konta when the two face off for a place in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Interestingly, Ostapenko and Konta have very nearly identical win-loss records in 2018 – Ostapenko 13-10, Konta 13-10. And yet while Ostapenko is seen as slightly underperforming, Konta is definitely being treated as slumping. The difference is that Ostapenko has at least recorded one notable result, her runner-up finish in Miami where she got back-to-back wins over top-10 players, whereas Konta hasn’t made it as far as the quarterfinals anywhere since the first week of the season, on the one hand; and on the other, that Ostapenko’s ranking has stayed steady, while Konta’s has plummeted.


Johanna Konta  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Konta had one of the most impressive seasons out of anybody on the WTA Tour in 2017, as the British player continued the ascent up the rankings that begun over two years ago now, in the summer of 2015. After just dipping her toe into the top 10 late in 2016, Konta really established herself within it during 2017, winning titles in Sydney and at the Miami Open – the latter the biggest title of her career – and making semifinals in Eastbourne and Shenzhen, the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and achieving a huge career milestone when she made the semifinals of Wimbledon, beating Caroline Garcia and Simona Halep before losing to Venus Williams.

That Wimbledon run was a huge achievement, but it seemed to be the high-water mark for Konta, who has more or less been struggling ever since. The British player went 2-6 in the remainder of 2017, narrowly missing out on the WTA Finals Singapore for the second straight year and losing her last five matches of 2017, and while it hasn’t been quite that bad in 2018, it hasn’t been great either. A quarterfinalist in Brisbane in January, Konta failed to defend her Sydney title when she lost in the first round to Agnieszka Radwanska, and was ousted in the second round of the Australian Open by world no. 123 Bernarda Pera. Konta did win back-to-back matches in Doha (losing to Angelique Kerber) and Miami, but her title defense at the latter ended in the round of 16 at the hands of Venus Williams, and she slipped out of the top 20 as a result. Konta went on to lose early to qualifiers in Charleston and Madrid (Bernarda Pera again), but she’s scored two solid wins in Rome: The first over Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-4, 6-3 and the second over qualifier Su-Wei Hsieh, who’s been having an excellent season, 6-0, 6-4. 

Konta and Ostapenko have met just once before – last year in Eastbourne, when Konta became the first player to defeat the Latvian since her French Open triumph, winning 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. Both players were on great form at the time, but Konta was serving brilliantly – it proved key to her Wimbledon run, and her serve is the biggest factor that’s been missing in action ever since, without which her game looks somewhat toothless. Ostapenko’s own (improving) serve remains erratic, but she’s so much better at moving on clay than Konta and generally more comfortable and confident on this surface. Unless Konta produces a brilliant serving performance from nowhere, Ostapenko should be able to book a place in the quarterfinals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the first time on Thursday.


Ostapenko vs Konta Internazionali BNL d’Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST. Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis > Jelena Ostapenko vs Johanna Konta (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 


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Jelena Ostapenko vs Johanna Konta live streaming, preview and tips: Ostapenko aims to reach the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals for the first time in Rome

Jelena Ostapenko vs Johanna Konta live streaming, preview and tips for the WTA Rome Internazionali BNL d’Italia third-round match on Thursday 17 May 2018: Ostapenko looks to avenge her previous defeat to slumping Konta and book her place in the quarterfinals. We preview the match and show you how you can watch the match live and bet in-play.

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