Johanna Konta is the first British woman to reach the last eight of the French Open since 1983 after she beat Donna Vekic 6-2 6-4.
The World No.26 is enjoying a fantastic clay court season. She reached the final in Rome and Rabat and she has been in impressive form so far at Roland Garros.
Konta has had trouble with Vekic in the past as their 3-3 head-to-head record suggests. But she had no issues today because of her consistency. She served well and hit her groundstrokes superbly from the baseline, and the Croatian did not play well enough to match her this time around.
“I’m very pleased to win a match like this against a really tough opponent,” The Brit said in her on-court interview. “I felt I played well throughout the match – I knew I had to against a player like Donna. To win in front of a crowd like this gives you goosebumps.”
She continued, “We’ve had a number of great battles. I’ve lost the last two, but it was the first time we were playing on clay. I knew I had the game to beat her, but I also knew she has the game to beat me.”
Konta takes advantage as Vekic falters on serveEmbed from Getty Images
The start of the match was a bit erratic, as both players dropped serve immediately. Konta then earned another break to move 2-1 ahead.
Spectators almost saw a fourth consecutive break when Vekic forced a break point in game four, but the Brit held firm and established a 3-1 lead.
That hold proved crucial, as Konta started to play better and better after that. She held easily to move 4-2 up and then capitalised on some poor serving from the Croatian to increase her advantage to 5-2.
Vekic gave the next game everything she had to try and get back in the set. However, she failed to take any of the four break points she carved out and the Brit punished her by taking her first set point.
It was a very poor set for the Croatian on serve. She made just 38% of her first serves and only won nine of the 24 points played in her service games. She also converted just one of her eight break points.
Vekic improved in the second set and, consequently, it remained with serve for the first six games. The players then exchanged breaks in the next two games to make it 4-4.
Konta broke again in game nine to give herself a chance to serve for the match. She did exactly that in clinical fashion with two big serves and a couple of well-timed advances to the net.
This win moves the Brit back into the World’s Top 20 for the first time since March 2018. It also sets up an exciting quarter-final meeting with either Sloane Stephens or Garbine Muguruza.
[Originally published on ubitennis.net]