Toray PPO Tennis, Japan
 Johanna Konta (GBR) vs.  Donna Vekic (CRO)
When you are winning and things are going well on the tennis court, your confidence soars and you feel almost invincible. When you have put the work in to get fit and you trust your body to go the distance in a long match or in extended rallies, you grow in confidence when you see the positive results. The converse is true, when you start to lose matches to players you had a winning record against, your confidence dwindles. The vicious cycle of decreasing confidence begins the more you lose; the more your confidence fails you and the more you lose confidence in your game, the more matches you lose.
At some point, you have to find a way to break the cycle; however, it is not always a simple fix. Konta was once ranked as high as number four and now she is ranked outside the top twenty; she had a 3:1 advantage over Vekic going into this match. Despite defeating her opponent the last two recent encounters, Konta was not the one with the belief that she would win. In contrast, despite losing their two most recent encounters, Vekic had more belief and confidence than her opponent.
When you are fitter, you feel you can hang with your opponents better and Vekic has gotten fitter. She is not only fitter physically, she is fitter mentally. Now when she encounters adversity on the court, Vekic is able to troubleshoot and find another plan besides reverting to her power game. Konta now seems to be the one struggling to make the necessary adjustments in her game when things are not working with her primary game plan.
Konta got to the final in Nottingham earlier this season; however, since then, it has been a rocky performance from the Brit. After her brilliant performance last season, this dip in confidence is somewhat surprising; yet, all it takes for your confidence to drop is a loss that should not have happened. Can Konta get back to the lofty heights of being a top ten player? Anything is possible if you put your mind to it; however, the field is getter younger and stronger.
Brimming with confidence after dispatching Sloane Stephens in the first round in straight sets, Vekic continued her brilliant play to oust Konta 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals (this was after Konta led 4-1 in the second set, served to go up 5-1and served for the second set at 5-4).
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac: Donna Vekic)
Johanna Konta (blue outfit- serveandrally original)