Johanna Konta sets up Australian Open quarter-final date with Serena Williams

Johanna Konta looked every inch a prospective grand slam champ on her method to reaching a last-eight clash with Serena Williams at Melbourne Park

Johanna Konta , who was drowning outside the worlds leading 150 2 years back, looked every inch a prospective grand slam champ in scheduling a quarter-final versus Serena Williams with another outstanding efficiency to beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-4 in searing conditions on Margaret Court Arena on day 8.

Im truly delighted to have actually come through that, she stated courtside of the hour-and-nine-minute triumph that appeared like being a lot quicker when she brushed the Russian aside in the very first set. I came out dipping into a greater level than she did however she had the ability to pull herself back into the match and made it actually tough for me. I simply needed to trust myself. When we played last year, at least it wasnt 3 hours like.

Konta went on to reach the semi-finals then, losing to the ultimate winner, Angelique Kerber who was bundled from this years competition on Sunday night .

Blocking her method to that phase this time is six-time champ Williams, who earlier took an hour and 45 minutes in the killing heat on Rod Laver Arena to break down 16th seed Barbora Strcov 7-5, 6-4.

It was great for me to win on most likely not my finest day, Williams stated later on. When it comes to Konta, the world No2 and brand-new competition favourite stated, I have actually enjoyed her video game a lot. Shes been playing actually well. She has a really assaulting video game. I understand her video game quite well. I eagerly anticipate it. I have definitely nothing to lose in this competition. Whatever here is a perk for me.

Konta stated of the possibility of playing Williams for the very first time, Believe it or not, thats going to be an amazing experience for me. She was among the gamers I saw maturing. Its an extraordinary honour and I cant wait to share a court with her. As soon as out on court, everybody is out to complete and offer their finest, however I will absolutely value each and every single minute. If she can reproduce her kind of Monday, #peeee

She will take her finest tennis into the quarters.

The on-court temperature level when they started soon after 1pm was close to 100F, with not a wisp of a breeze for relief. Both gamers pulled back to the shadowed cool at either end whenever the chance played and developed with the sort of included discipline that finest partners energy. The points, usually, were short, although old impulses emerged and drew the contenders into prolonged battles.

It might barely have actually begun much better for Konta. The world No9 won the very first 3 video games inside 10 minutes and looked as commanding as she had in her outstanding development to the 4th round however she understood from having actually played Makarova at this phase of the competition a year ago that it would not be a walk. That time, Konta won 8-6 in the 3rd.

On Monday, the space in between Konta and the 30th seed was more obvious. The preferred served out the very first set in just 24 minutes, and Andrew Castle was relocated to explain it as utter radiance.

He was not incorrect. Kontas serve once again underpinned her supremacy. She served 5 aces and was landing 8 from 10 very first time. Her back-up strike was simply as reliable, offering Makarova no peace when protecting, and she fell apart under the continual, determined attack. At no time did Konta lose the shape of her video game or concentrate on a strategy she will have invested hours creating.

Williams, too, looked great earlier however took almost an hour to go an established versus Strcov, who conserved 8 set points. Her 2nd set was more uncomplicated and it is clear she stays preferred, after the not entirely unexpected exit of world No1 Kerber, who beat her in the final in 2015. It has actually not been a safe competition for world No1s.

Makarova got on the board early in the 2nd, identified not to go silently: 6-1 is a not completely unusual rating in the womens video game, even at this phase of a slam. Followed the inescapable fightback.

Konta fell 4-1 down prior to taking 5 video games in a row and served for the match. She had to conserve 3 break points and did so with the sort of nerveless tennis we have actually come to take for approved.

She got to deuce with her ninth ace and to match point with another however Makarova would not disappear, conserving with a deep forehand to the deuce corner. Konta returned to match point, striking tough to the very same location at the other end, then sealed it after a tense rally, when Makarova might not manage Kontas intense volley and put her forehand large.

The concluding set had actually taken almost two times as long as the very first, a homage to the battling spirit of the loser, in addition to the decision of the winner.

Kontas next task will most likely be even harder.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/23/johanna-konta-sets-up-australian-open-quarter-final-date-with-serena-williams

Australian Open: Johanna Konta powers through against Caroline Wozniacki

Konta beats Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 and will play Ekaterina Makarova in the 4th round

Johanna Konta is through to the 4th round of the Australian Open versus Ekaterina Makarova – for the 2nd year in a row – after beating the previous world No1 Caroline Wozniacki in an hour-and-a-quarter on day 6, and there are sound needs to think she can reach the last weekend of the competition.

She got to the semi-finals 12 months earlier when ranked 47 on the planet, losing to the ultimate champ, Angelique Kerber, however her instant objective is to obtain previous Ekaterina Makarova on Monday then, in all possibility, Serena Williams in the quarter-finals 2 days later on.

It is some ask, however the world No9 is playing the sort of disciplined tennis that has actually struck hesitancy into all her challengers over the previous year, here and somewhere else.

Her serve clicked once again, structure on her credibility with 6 aces and 69% of points won on 2nd serve. She is practically impregnable with ball in hand, as she was in 2015 when she led the Tour with second-serve success, the giveaway indication of a strong video game. Some of her ground strokes on Saturday were spectacular in power and accuracy.

Konta broke in the seventh video game and, while staying watchful versus a challenger she appreciates for her psychological and physical durability, she liquidated the very first set with another break. She broke and held conveniently at the start of the 2nd set, going on to win 6-3, 6-1, although double-faulting for the 3rd time on match point when over-reaching for a grandstand surface.

It was every bit as excellent as her hard win over unseeded Kirsten Flipkens and her more emphatic overpowering of the Japanese possibility Naomi Osaka .

I absolutely played a really high level, she stated courtside. Im pleased to come through that. She truly makes you work for it. I wished to assert myself from the outset, and I handled to do that.

In 3 matches in the hardest area of the draw, Konta has actually quit simply 16 video games, less than either of ins 2015 finalists, Kerber and Serena Williams.

Her development in 2016 marked the very first time a British gamer had actually reached the semi-finals because Sue Barker in 1977, yet the host broadcaster, Channel 7, demand describing her as Australian-born Konta, with routine tips throughout her matches that she invested the very first 14 years of her life in Sydney prior to her immigrant moms and dads returned to Europe to be closer to household staying in Hungary.

That is a minor nuancing of the truths, as Kontas household emigrated to the UK to more quickly install her in the Sanchez Casal Barcelona academy (where she initially satisfied Andy Murray) to deal with her tennis. Konta, who ended up being a British person 5 years earlier and calls Bournemouth house, can just smile and bear it when challenged with this serial if innocent flag-waving.

If she stopped briefly to think about a larger sporting context, she might advise her patriotic inquisitors that the Australian cricket group has 4 gamers with abroad connections, consisting of Yorkshireman Matt Renshaw, who still has a British passport, as does Peter Handscomb, who was born in Melbourne (and was a great junior tennis gamer).

All that aside, Konta did herself happy on Saturday and was warmly gotten by fans of all backgrounds on another barely overbearing however hot days. She stated of another huge match versus the Russian, We had an extremely close 4th round here in 2015. I beat her 8-6 in the 3rd. You do not have any simple matches at this phase.

Makarova, who endured a second-set fightback from 0-4 by the previous finalist and 6th seed, Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3 on the primary court. The Russian 30 th seed required a medical time-out early in the 3rd set for exactly what seemed a hand injury and may not be at her finest on Monday. Cibulkova was not persuaded. She was constraining a bit in her hand, she stated later on. Possibly not. I have no idea.

Beyond Makarova lies a completely various difficulty: Serena Williams, fit and smiling and in the sort of type that has actually won her 22 majors.

She has type, physical fitness and is getting more powerful, the previous British No1 Sam Smith stated of Konta. Definitely she can beat Serena Williams. She is going from strength to strength.

Still, as the TELEVISION marketing concept of these champions Novak Djokovic sitting courtside humming along to Be Happy – continues to haunt our understandings of supremacy 2 days after his unscheduled departure, Williams, serenely, remains superbly in the womens draw.

She appropriately cavilled at the ill-informed recommendation on Thursday that her win over 6-3, 6-4 over Lucia Safarova was scrappy, and strengthened her point by beating her outclassed compatriot, Nicole Gibbs, for the loss of simply 4 video games in 63 minutes on Saturday.

It was such a lovely day today, she stated. I enjoy playing in the sun. The six-time champ might not remember in her summer reverie who her challenger was the very first time she had actually played on the primary court here, 19 years ago to the day: her sis Venus. Truly? she stated courtside.

She understands who she is playing next, nevertheless, and is prepared for the difficulty. She plays 16th seed Barbora Strycova, who beat among Andy Murrays preferred gamers, Caroline Garcia, 6-2, 7-5.

Whoever goes through to the quarter-finals, the dangers originating from the leading half on that side of the draw are less strong, although the 2nd week of a slam tosses up all sorts of surprises, particularly in the womens draw here at the very first significant of the season.

Among them is the 21-year-old American qualifier, Jenny Brady, who remains in her 2nd year on the Tour and confided after putting out the 14th seed Elena Vesnina, 7-6 (x), 6-2, that she had actually reserved a flight house for next Wednesday. Whatever occurs when she plays the relatively ageless Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Monday, Bradys world ranking of 116 will be left method behind. She has likewise doubled her profession profits in a fortnight.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/21/australian-open-johanna-konta-powers-through-against-caroline-wozniacki