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'I’m really pleased with the level I’m competing'- British No. 1, Johanna Konta finding form at Wimbledon

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 9 Jul 2019
  • Johanna Konta returned to the Wimbledon quarter finals following a three-set win over two-time champion, Petra Kvitova on Manic Monday
  • Konta to play Barbora Stycova in the last eight
Johanna Konta. (PA Sport)

British No. 1, Johanna Konta delivered a popular victory on Manic Monday at Wimbledon, as the home favourite battled back from a set down to beat two-time champion, Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court.

Konta is into the Wimbledon quarter finals for the first time since her semi-final run in 2017, and will play Barbora Strycova for a spot in the last four.

The Brit reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 after that 2017 semi-final, but she lost her way after that, dipping as low as 50th in 2018, and ranked 47th as recently as April.

With her career seemingly heading nowhere, Konta launched a revival in the unlikeliest of places, producing a sterling clay-court season to surge back into the top-20. Prior to 2019, Konta had never made a clay-court semi-final, but she strung together a spectacular run on the surface, featuring finals in Rabat and Rome, and a semi-final at Roland Garros to get her career right back on track.

She didn’t immediately find her feet on grass, as she failed to make a quarter final in either of her pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournaments in Birmingham and Eastbourne, but she has put together a quality run at Wimbledon, beating Ana Bogdan, Katerina Siniakova, Sloane Stephens and Kvitova to reach the last eight. It’s also the first time in Konta’s career that she would beat top-ten players in consecutive matches.

“…I'm just really pleased with the level I'm playing, how I'm competing, how I'm really just trying to find a way in each match that I play. I'm playing very tough matches against very tough opponents", the Brit said after battling past Kvitova.

Konta and Kvitova shared the first eight games in a high-quality, big-hitting contest, with neither player getting to break point. The first opportunity arrived at 4-4, with Konta carving out a 15-40 lead on Kvitova’s serve, but the Czech survived that testing game, and made the most of her escape by breaking for the set in the next game.

Konta’s response to dropping was emphatic, as she broke to love in the opening game of the second set. Kvitova pushed for an immediate break back in a titanic second game, but Konta dug deep to consolidate, saving two break back points in the process. The world No. 19 raced away to a 4-0 lead, and eventually closed out the set after 49 minutes. The home player took that momentum into the final set, sprinting a 5-1 lead, but as she closed in on the finish line, Kvitova mounted a late charge, winning three straight games, and saving two match points to move within a game of the Brit.

However, after failing to serve out the match at 5-2, Konta made no mistakes at the second time of asking, sealing the win on her third match point when Kvitova sent a forehand long.

"Overall I'm just pleased that I competed well," said Konta. "Towards the end I thought I had good perspective because [Kvitova] started playing very freely. I mean, the balls were coming through quick. Just happy I was able to keep a good perspective and just enjoy competing against her, because she's very tough to play on this surface. I'm really pleased with that."
"Equally today, I'm really pleased that I got to play an entertaining match for them [the crowd], as well, because I felt they enjoyed the match. That obviously definitely feeds a lot of excitement on court. I enjoy that position to be in. I'm really enjoying playing in front of a home crowd."

Konta finished with 22 winners and 21 unforced errors, while Kvitova’s numbers weren’t too shabby, with the Czech striking 40 winners and 34 unforced errors. However, it was Konta who played the big points better, converting 4 of 9 break chances, while Kvitova was 2 of 10 in that department.

The Brit proceeds to Tuesday’s quarter finals, where she will face another Czech, Barbora Strycova. Read the full match preview.

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"I’m really pleased with the level I’m competing"- British No. 1, Johanna Konta finding form at Wimbledon

Johanna Konta is back in the quarter finals at Wimbledon after battling past Petra Kvitova on Manic Monday.

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