Nadal stunned by Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman pulled off the biggest upsets of the Rome Masters when he toppled the nine-time champion Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinals, a feat he achieved in straight sets!

Plíšková passes Mertens test as Vondrousova swats Svitolina

No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková took another step toward her Rome title defence on Saturday after correcting a mid-match wobble to defeat No 11 seed Elise Mertens in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals; while 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova upset two-time winner...

Muguruza stops Azarenka to meet Halep in Rome semis

Garbiñe Muguruza stopped Victoria Azarenka’s outstanding run of 14 wins in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, coming from a set and a break down to reach her third semi-final in Rome where she will meet Simona Halep, who advanced into the last 4...

Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...
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Wimbledon Day 5 | Konta keeps the flag flying into second week

Jo Konta struck the right note as she beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari  6-4 6-1 to make the second week of Wimbledon for the first time. It followed defeats for fellow Brits Heather Watson and Alijaz Bedene in the third round earlier on Day Five of the Championships.

They were tricky conditions for both of us. Gusty. Very happy. I competed hard and made sure I didn’t leave anything unturned. Jo Konta

Rock fan Konta will opt out of attending a U2 concert at nearby Twickenham on her weekend off before taking on Caroline Garcia of France for a place in the last eight to focus on making history.

The British No.1 became the first home player to make the last 16 of the ladies’ singles since Laura Robson in 2013 by dismissing Sakkari.

And, of course, it kept her on track to end 40 years of hurt for the host nation, who last cheered a native to the most coveted crown in women’s tennis when Virginia Wade sealed it in the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Konta said: “Unlikely I’ll be seeing U2. Hoping to see them later in the year. I’m here to hopefully be involved until the very end.

“People talking about me winning? I don’t think about that particularly. Everyone’s a potential winner. It’s one match at the time. I’m happy to come through another battle.

“The crowd support was absolutely amazing. Playing to a packed stadium is humbling. Something we dream of as young children.”

Konta emphasised her mental strength in coping with the hot and gusty conditions.

She said to the BBC: “They were tricky conditions for both of us. Gusty. Very happy. I competed hard and made sure I didn’t leave anything unturned.”

The expectations are growing as quickly as grass in spring that the Sussex-based world No.7 can achieve glory by the end of the Famous Fortnight.

The seeds were sown with her rapid rise up the rankings over the past couple of years.

And in the previous round, against Croatian Donna Vekic, those hopes were positively blooming given the guts, determination and class shown by Konta.

And it never looked like it would be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show comes the dust-cart’ with the way Konta dealt with Sakkari in front of the full house on No.1 Court. No let down. Just more of the same.

The difference was that Konta did not have to put in the monumental effort she needed to put in against Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend in their three-hour-plus marathon which lit up the Championships, the encounter taking just 76 minutes.

Konta showed a calm assurance mixed with a ferocious will to win, features of her Wimbledon thus far. She kept herself in a cool frame of mind, never revealing how her emotions were churning away behind the façade.

Konta got her nose in front and her opponent, world-ranked 101, did not get another look in. In fact, Sakkari had to wait until the fifth game before winning a game in the second set.

There was a mini-wobble in the sixth game of it as Konta conceded a break point with her second double fault as all and sundry were writing off Sakkari.

As BBC commentator John Inverdale  said: “Counting chickens is a dangerous business is sport. Put them back in the hutch.”

It was a false alarm as Konta succeeded in maintaining her composure to hold.

She completed a Greek tragedy for her opponent, instantly breaking her. The final shot was a powerhouse forehand forced Sakkari to weakly dump a backhand into the net.




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