|Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July|
|Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details|
British number one Johanna Konta reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals with an accomplished display against two-time champion Petra Kvitova.
The 28-year-old came from a set down to beat the Czech sixth seed 4-6 6-2 6-4.
Konta is one win away from emulating her 2017 feat of reaching the last four and two away from becoming the first British women’s singles finalist since Virginia Wade won the title in 1977.
She will take on Czech world number 54 Barbora Strycova on Tuesday.
With defeats on Monday for world number one Ashleigh Barty, third seed Karolina Pliskova, and now Kvitova, it leaves seventh seed Simona Halep, eighth seed Elina Svitolina and 11th seed Serena Williams as the highest ranked players left in the women’s draw.
“It was small margins in the end,” said Konta, who is enjoying deep runs at back-to-back Grand Slams for the first time following last month’s French Open semi-final.
“I’m tremendously grateful to be here and I’m just happy to still be in this event and to be competing against the best players in the world.”
Konta finds another gear after going behind
Konta had come into the match having dropped serve just once in 33 games at the championships and it was unfortunate for her that she picked just the wrong moment for a rare break.
Having matched Kvitova’s power game by game in the opening set, she sent a forehand long to give the Czech set point and then went wide to allow her to convert it.
The lapse seemed to fire up Konta, who wasted no time in breaking to love in the opening game of the second and then backed it up with a hard-fought hold in a 12-minute game where she was taken to deuce seven times and fended off two break points.
That was the turning point from which Konta found a new gear, establishing a double break and putting the Czech’s serve under consistent pressure – all the more impressive given that this was against a player who had yet to drop a set in the tournament.
Konta had some treatment on her foot, having it sprayed and taped, before serving for the set and claiming it with an ace.
She continued to dominate the 2011 and 2014 champion in the third with Kvitova – who had been sidelined with an arm injury in the run-up to Wimbledon – unable to serve her way out of trouble.
Konta went a double break up in the third before wobbling with the finishing line in sight when she was serving for the match at 5-2, when she was broken having squandered two match points with first a wide forehand and then a long one.
But when she got her second chance two games later, she made no mistake and wrapped up victory when Kvitova’s forehand whizzed way past the baseline.
Another Grand Slam, another quarter-final – Konta back on track
Konta was a semi-finalist here two years ago during a run of form that catapulted her to number four in the world rankings.
She is enjoying a similar upturn this season, having risen from 47th in the world in April to 18th now after her Roland Garros success and two WTA finals on clay in May.
She has carried the momentum through on to grass, where once again her serve is her key weapon. She has now been broken just three times in 47 games at these championships.
Her form this year has been in marked contrast to last year where she went out in the second round of Wimbledon after a first-round exit at the French Open.
The upturn has coincided with the hiring of a new coach towards the end of last year – Dimitri Zavialoff, who used to work with three-time Grand Slam singles champion Stan Wawrinka.
Under the softly spoken Frenchman, Konta’s own mood has become calmer and against Kvitova there never seemed to be any doubt in her mind that she could win this match.
She has also made something of a habit of turning three-set matches into victories, including two in the Fed Cup play-off victory over Kazakhstan in April that seemed to set the tone for her season.
Like in the previous round against Sloane Stephens, where she trailed after the first set, she again showed great mental strength to deliver in front of a delighted Centre Court.