Johanna Konta beat Sloane Stephens in straight sets to become the first British woman in 36 years to reach the French Open semi-finals. Konta, 28, had never made it past the first round at Roland Garros before this year’s tournament but she is now just one match away from the final after taking down the American 6-1 6-4 in Paris.
Jo Durie, back in 1983, was the last British woman to reach the same stage of the event, and Konta has every chance of going one better after her stellar form on the red dirt. It was an outstanding display by the Australian-born ace, who broke her opponent’s serve three times during the contest, and she admitted her pride after another superb outing.
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“To play on the new Chatrier court against a top player and at the level I did, I’m really proud of myself,” she said. “It’s hard to say if it was one of the best matches of my career, but dealing with conditions out here and against an opponent like Sloane who can run away with it, I was pleased to get her on the back foot and control the points a little bit.”
Konta has now reached the semi-finals in three Grand Slams, reaching the last four at the Australian Open in 2016 and Wimbledon a year later. She will meet the winner of the match between Croatian 31st seed Petra Martic and Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.