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Konta makes last eight

Konta makes last eight
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JO Konta is looking forward to Š—“an incredible experienceŠ— against Serena Williams after becoming the only Brit to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. With compatriots Andy Murray and Dan Evans falling in the men’s event at the same stage, Konta defeated Ekaterina Makarova for a second successive year in the fourth round.

I think I came out definitely playing at a higher level than she did


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JO Konta is looking forward to Š—“an incredible experienceŠ— against Serena Williams after becoming the only Brit to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. With compatriots Andy Murray and Dan Evans falling in the men’s event at the same stage, Konta defeated Ekaterina Makarova for a second successive year in the fourth round.

Her 6-1 6-4 victory over the Russian 30th seed means she is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Beating Williams, winner of 22 Grand slam titles, would see the ninth seed from Sussex repeat her run to the semi-finals last year.

On facing Williams, who overcame Czech Barbora Strycova, seeded 16, 7-5 6-4, for the first time, Konta said: "Believe it or not that’s an incredible experience for me.

"She’s one of the few players still playing who I watched growing up. As a young girl wanting to be a professional tennis player, it’s an incredible honour and I can’t wait to play on court with her.

"Once out on court, against anyone, anyone is out there to compete. Hopefully I’ll come off as the winner.

"In terms of enjoying the opportunity and the competition, I will cherish every minute out there."

Konta proved that 35-year-old Williams can expect a tough test as she sealed her ninth victory in a row, all achieved in two sets.



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Konat launches another one of her winning serves

2017 Australian Open - Day 8

Image © Getty Images

It took her three hours to beat Makarova in 2016, but her game had improved sufficiently for her to markedly speed up the demolition process.

The Australian-born ace, who clinched the Sydney crown in her birth city going in, took a mere 24 minutes to clinch the opening set.

She got her serve up and running swiftly, bagging 78 per cent of the points on it.

And she was able to attack the Makarova serve to good effect, winning 62 per cent.

Her power and aggression left her opponent struggling and, although having to come back from 4-1, won five games on the bounce and secured victory.

Konta said: "I think I came out definitely playing at a higher level than she did but she really put herself back into that match and made it difficult for me.

"The way she pulled away in the second set, I don’t feel like I did much wrong, she started playing some incredible tennis."

Konta is clearly a genuine contender with even Williams wary of her threat, with the AmericanŠ—Ès coach Patrick Mouratoglou having admitted as much.

* Quotes from the BBC






About The Author

Mike Donovan

Mike Donovan is a journalist and author who has covered tennis for more than 20 years. He was tennis correspondent on Today, the first all-electronic, all-colour newspaper, and contributed to the official Wimbledon website. He has scribed for most national dailies and magazines on the sport of the fuzzy green ball, as the late Bud Collins used to describe tennis. Mike has twice won British Sports Writer of the Year awards. He is the author of a variety of football books and has one coming out on Pitch Publishing in September called ‘Glory Glory Lane’, about the 118-year history of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

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