Wimbledon | Konta squeezes through but Dart exits
Jo Konta will take on two-time champion Petra Kvitova for a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and she declared: “It’ll be a nice opportunity against one of the best players in the world.”
I just kept plugging away more than anything Jo Konta
The British No.1, who reached the semi-finals two years ago, overcame 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 in 2hr.2min to make the last 16.
It was a tense tussle with Konta putting the home crowd on No.1 Court through the ringer.
After losing the first set, she had to save a series of break points in the fifth game of the second.
Her resilience to withstand an impressive Stephens, the ninth seed, then proved pivotal.
And the 28-year-old, who overcame the American to make the last four of the French Open, was able to complete her fourth victory over her opponent this year.
She said: “I just kept plugging away more than anything,
“I was fully prepared to not be coming back in that second set because she really was playing well. In the first set and a lot of the second. I was really pleased I could keep battling, I was pleased I could mix things up and get her out of the zone she was in, I did a good job.
“There’s no reason for any matches to get easier. And it won’t be against Petra. But I’m enjoying it and it will be a nice opportunity against one of the best players in the world.”
Harriet Dart was swept side 6-1 6-1 by world No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who earned a fourth-round date with Alison Riske.
But the Brit, ranked 182, took the positives from her Centre Court experience after Australian Barty took 53 minutes to put the Londoner out of her agony.
Dart said: “I’m super happy with my performances this week. It was such a good learning curve for me. She played great. She didn’t let me in the match at all. I think it’s obviously a tough lesson to learn. Again, it’s been a great tournament for me. I should take a lot of positives from it.”
The north Londoner believes she dealt with the situation better than when beaten 6-0 6-0 by Maria Sharapova in Australia.
She said: “I think I handled my emotions a lot better. The courts are different. Different surface, different type of crowd, different amount of people. In Australia, on Rod Laver, it was a lot bigger stadium than here on Centre Court. I think today it was really nice to have the British fans out there, which I think helped me a lot. But, yeah, I think she played great. I think she didn’t allow me to get into the match really at all.”
The Centre Court experience?
She said: “Pretty cool. Not many people can say you played the third round of Wimbledon against the world No. 1 on Centre Court. Pretty special to be out there. Yeah, I definitely enjoyed every minute. I think it’s a great stepping stone for me. I’ve never been this far in a Grand Slam. I think what I’ve done this week has been incredible for me. It should give me a lot of confidence to build on this”.
Swiss Bencic, the 13th seed, was stunned 4-6 6-4 6-4 by unseeded Riske.