AGEON International: determined Konta continues home tournament progress

Johanna Konta celebrates
Johanna Konta celebrates

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta’s fine form continued as she marched into the quarter final of her home tournament after a three sets victory over world No.20 Garbine Muguruza as she triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

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Konta, ranked 146 in the world, will play in the last eight against the impressive Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic, after the British No.2 beat her second top 20 player at the Aegon International this week.

Bencic progressed earlier in the day after her opponent Eugenie Bouchard pulled out with abdominal pain when Bencic was 6-4 and 3-0 up in the second.

Konta got off to a strong start by breaking Muguruza in her first service game to lead the first set 2-0.

Konta retained all her service matches before serving for the first set in the ninth game, slamming a pinpoint backhand down the line to win the set 6-4.

21-year-old Muguruza, making her Eastbourne debut, fought back immediately in the second set, breaking the Brit at the first attempt and going on to win the set 6-4.

Heading into the final set the Spaniard looked to have the momentum on her side after some impressive ground strokes, with her forehand causing Konta problems.

Konta urged on by her home crowd, duly obliged in the fourth and sixth game as she claimed back to back breaks over the Venezuela-born player to grab the upper hand and lead at 5-1.

A resolute Muguruza broke back but Konta held firm and confirmed her name in the quarter finals after serving out the match 6-3.

Konta, who was 126 places below the Spaniard Muguruza, has enjoyed a fine tournament she has beaten world No. 34 Zarina Diyas and former Eastbourne champion and eighth ranked Ekaterina Makarova in the previous rounds.

Konta said, “It was a really tough match. She really raised her level and I was happy I was able to hang tough and keep being there in every point possible and somehow I won in the end.

“In some parts I’m playing some high level tennis and competing with some of the best players on tour. But I always feel there is room for improvement and that’s what keeps me hungry to improve and to specialise in the field I’m working in.

“The crowd is a pleasure. My parents are watching in the crowd and it has been a long journey for us and I’m just happy they get to experience moments like this.

“So I’m very happy and so lucky to be in that situation. It’s very humbling, I mean who am for so many people to give me an ovation?

“It’s a very humbling experience and I’m very garteful and hopefully I can be in these situations for the rest of my career.”

Of her quarter final oponent Bencic, Konta added, “She has improved in the last year and playing some great tennis.

“She has made the quarter-final of the US Open and has made the top 30.

“I know it will be a very tough match for me but one I’m looking forward to.”

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