Miami | Defending champion crashes out
The British No1, seeded 11 and world ranked 14, will see that ranking drop in to the twenties following her loss to Venus Williams at the Miami Open, which the Brit had won last year.
It looks as if she had rediscovered her form in time to defend her title but after a good start her game crumbled under the pressure of the 37-year-old American and she crashed out 5-7 6-1 6-2 in the fourth-round match.
Williams, playing in the tournament for a 19th time, reached her 13th quarter-final in front of a loudly cheering crowd who lifted her after Konta made a brilliant start to break her. She nearly dropped her serve again in the third game which took almost 11-minutes to complete.
In the second set Williams took control racing into a 3-0 lead and when Konta double-faulted in the seventh game there seemed to be no way back., especially after she received treatment to her lower back before the start of the third set.
Elsewhere, Spanish third seed Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza followed Konta out of the tournament, losing 3-6 4-6 to the US champion Sloane Stephens,
For her 15th win in the last 17 matches on home soil. She drilled 19 winners to 12, committing 20 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 32 and equalled her best result in Miami.
The American will meet Angelique Kerber who came close to defeat but recovered in time to progress past Yafan Wang of China, a qualifier, 6-7(1) 7-6(5) 6-3. The victory means the German has been able to reach the last eight in all the tournaments she has played this year’
Meanwhile Karolina Pliskova moved to the quarterfinals for the fifth of her six tournaments this season and third time in Miami as Zarina Diyas, bidding for her third top 10 win, retired for an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2 2-1.
Pliskova will meet former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka who took out Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2 while Elina Svitolina (4) ousted Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4 to progress into the quarter-finals where French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko awaits, the Latvian having dispatched Petra Kvitova 7-6(4) 6-3.
Finally Qualifier Danielle Collins beat Monica Puig 3-6 6-4 6-2 but her run could well end as she next faces Venus Williams for a place in the last four.