Result: Johanna Konta d. Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3
On the final Saturday of the 2017 Miami Open, Johanna Konta beat Caroline Wozniacki with a dominant straight sets victory. This win is the first WTA Premier Mandatory title for Konta, capping off a brilliant start of the season that included a quarterfinal at the Australian Open and a Premier title at the Sydney International.
The Game Insight Group has taken a deeper dive into the women’s final numbers to get a better understanding of the secret to Konta’s success.
Konta has risen in the rankings during an era dominated by power players like Serena Williams and Vika Azarenka. But what Konta doesn’t have in power, she makes up for in mentality. In fact, one of the secrets to her success in recent years has been her ability to maintain focus and perform under pressure.
The Miami Open final was no exception. Below we can see, point-by-point, the cumulative percentage of clutch points won during the women’s final. Konta came roaring out of the gate in the first set, maintaining a difference of nearly 20 percentage points on clutch throughout the majority of the set. By the end of that set, Konta had a total clutch percentage of 61% compared to 39% for Wozniacki.
The second set was a much tighter contest when it came to clutch point performance, and the mental edge changed hands on several occasions. Although Wozniacki came close to taking the mental lead on several occasions, Konta managed to edge Wozniacki out in the decisive final game, ending up with a set clutch percentage of 52%.
Let’s take a look at the tipping points that contributed to the final result.
Konta entered the women’s final with only a slight edge in terms of win probability (56%) over a resurgent Wozniacki. After breaking in the first game, the Briton was able to dictate the opening set.
After Konta threatened to break a second time at 2-0, Wozniacki responded quickly in the fourth game by breaking back and levelling the match at 2-2. At this point, Konta’s win probability stood at 64%, but a break in the fifth game helped it to jump by 13 percentage points.
With the pair playing out a number of tight games through the set, the win probability continued to swing back and forth until Konta got a decisive break and was able to serve out the set. At this point, her win probability rocketed to 89% going in to set two.
Although the game score would suggest that the second set would be a repeat of the first, the point score tells a very different story. Konta, who hadn’t wasted a single break point chance in the first set, needed five chances to earn her break in the first game.
It was Wozniacki who was the clutch performer in the second set, needing just one break point to level the set.
The decisive break came in the seventh game, when Konta sealed the break at the fourth time of trying. From that point on her win probability increased to 95% – and only increased from there.
With Wonzniacki serving and the match on the line, Konta found her clutch form yeat again and sealed a quick break to win first Premier Mandatory title of her career.
Get more insight and analysis from Steph’s blog at on-the-t.com.
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