Britain's Konta powers into Roland Garros last eight

Ruben Hill
June 4, 2019

It was the first day that Johanna Konta had not made history at the French Open. Konta was not the only British victor on Sunday, with Putney's Joe Salisbury, 27, reaching the quarter-finals of the men's doubles with American partner Rajeev Ram. Because I'm a pro though I'm going to double check. yep, it's Jo Durie. Durie eventually lost in the semis. She held serve to love clinch the match in 84 minutes. She was strong, she was quick; she thumped her serve and clattered her backhand.

This performance was her best yet given the calibre of her opponent - Vekic is at a career-high mark of No 24 in the world rankings and has enjoyed a very good season so far. I don't really like playing out points when I practise. In the quarter-finals he will face fellow Swiss and former Paris champion Stan Wawrinka who, in a contender for match of the year, brilliantly saw off sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, surely a future champion himself.

Martic saved a couple of break points at 4-3 before stealing Kanepi's serve again to move 5-4 up and serve it out, prevailing on her first match point. It's never a guarantee to play well throughout the whole match. Her game from the back of the court is technically better.

"I have only been at this stage a handful of times", said Konta.

The contrast in the belief of Konta compared with then is stark.

The fourth seed said: "I don't really get it, seriously".

"I have been in a lot of different situations over the last number of weeks, a lot of tough ones, a lot of maybe ones that don't seem as tough but are tough in their own way".

The British number one seems sure to face a tough match next against seventh seed and last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens, who was a 6-4 6-3 victor over former champion Garbine Muguruza.

She was not in the best of moods having been beaten by Sofia Kenin in her earliest loss at a Grand Slam for five years. Stephens has won eight of her last 10 matches on clay court.

The beginning of the second set was tighter but Konta was playing with complete conviction in her shots, something that has been lacking since her run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon two summers ago. She knows what this process feels like and she rather likes it.

"At times when you watch her she overthinks", said Clijsters. This is not my end goal or anything.

"Today's match was definitely one. I'm just happy to still be here".

Also, Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova raced into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of Latvian 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

The match started frenetically, with two breaks on the Vekic serve and one on Konta's in the opening three game, but the 28-year-old got a much-needed cushion at 5-2. "And I'm just happy with my game".

Four-time grand slam champion Kim Clijsters has been impressed by Konta's willingness to work on her clay-court game.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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