Johanna Konta is safely through to her third consecutive Viking Open Nottingham semi-final after defeating eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6(6), having reached the final in her last two visits to the Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2017 and 2018.
I was really pleased with the way I was able to create opportunities and then I was just hoping to take some Johanna Konta
For the second match in a row, the British No.1 started strongly winning five games in a row behind two breaks to lead 5-1 before serving out the set and despite a closer second set with the Belgian having chances to break at 2-2 and a further opportunity at 4-4 and 0-30, but Konta’s serve came to the rescue in the nick of time, six aces on the day adding to her total of 29 for the week.
In the tie-break Konta played one of the points of the match to move 5-3 ahead behind a glorious backhand lob, eventually taking the match after one hour, 36-minutes on her fourth match point of the breaker. The Brit will now face world No.87 from Serbia Nina Stojanovic – who defeated 2017 champion Donna Vekic on Thursday and Tereza Martincova 6-2 6-4 in today’s quarterfinal – for a shot at the final.
Commenting on her performance, Konta said: “I was really pleased with the way I was able to create opportunities and then I was just hoping to take some. I’m just enjoying being out here, playing in front of you all and being back on this surface. I’m just trying to play as many matches and with that you can gain that match fitness and get that tightness to help you make the right decisions in matches.”
In the other half of the women’s draw, Britain’s No.8 Katie Boulter from Leicester was forced to retire against No.14 seed Lauren Davis due to a right elbow injury, having taken the first 7-6(6) but dropped serve to trail 0-2 in the second set. Davis will now face No.4 seed Zhang Shuai from China who outlasted France’s No.7 seed Kristina Mladenovic in a 3-6 6-2 7-6(4) marathon lasting two-hours 33-minutes.
In Saturday’s semi-finals, Konta opens play first on Centre Court at 12 noon, with Davis to face Zhang immediately after.