Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Serena Williams dominates Jo Konta to make Australian Open semi-final

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Jan Ortega | 25 January, 2017, 09:26

As Chris Evert said later, "It seemed liked a much closer match".

Konta's status as a genuine contender to win the first Grand Slam of the year is credit, in part, to her mental resilience. And she is the oldest woman in the draw at Melbourne Park, though it should be noted that male players her age, such as Ivo Karlovic and Roger Federer, aren't continuously peppered with the same questions. "I was in the locker room watching her clean up her matches, she is a future champion here for sure, so I am pleased to get through this", Williams said after the match, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"Today I played a qualifier, and she hardly ever missed". I feel a little bit in shock right now.

World No. 9 Konta was an unused alternate at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals Singapore past year, after Svetlana Kuznetsova clinched the last spot the weekend before the Finals.

Both players came out swinging with strong serving and big hitting from the baseline. Williams has built up a great head of steam in this tournament and the British No1 met pretty much the best version available on Wednesday. "She won Sydney and she's been cleaning up her matches", said Williams afterwards of her opponent.

After match point, she shrugged her shoulders in a "so-what" motion after moving into a quarterfinal against French Open victor Garbine Muguruza. There were seven breaks of serve in the set, including the first four games. In the victory, Serena won 88 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points.

For the tournament, Serena has 36 forehand winners.

But in July, she claimed her first WTA Tour title at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford with a 7-5 5-7 6-2 win over Venus Williams.

After Johanna Konta broke into the world's top 10, Britain's rising star in the women's game is on another surge at the Australian Open. On such simple twists of fate do grander events some times turn.

The ninth seed's backhand is a risky weapon, and she will have the tools to punish the American if she is off her game.

Williams was one of her idols when she was young, and the 25-year-old said she can't wait to face the tennis great. Hopefully I can play better.

Williams demolished her compatriot Nicole Gibbs, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the fourth round. It was like a high-stakes poker game.

Williams was struggling with her first serve, with just one in three finding their mark in the opening encounters and she had to fend off a break point in the third game, raising her arms in the air when she finally won with an ace.

"But I have worked on it, so I know that if I don't flap around, they actually go away and do their own business".

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is coming off a three set win over Karolina Pliskova that took 29 games to decide.

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