Konta fights back and advances to semi-final at China Open

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta advanced to the China Open semi-finals after fighting back in remarkable fashion from 4-0 down in the first set to clinch victory over home favourite Zhang Shuai.

Konta, the world number 14, bounced back emphatically from her slow start, winning the next 12 games in a row for a 6-4 6-0 triumph.

The 25-year-old 11th seed is aiming to force her way into contention for the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month and she certainly looked to be on a mission against Zhang, ranked 36 in the world.

Play was briefly held up on set point in the first as a spectator made their way back to their seat, and there subsequently appeared to be some concern over the pressure of the balls being used.

But there was little stopping Konta, who will now meet American Madison Keys in the last four.

Eighth seed Keys earlier beat 14th-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 7-6 (7/5).

The other semi-final will see third seed Agnieszka Radwanska take on Elina Svitolina after the pair enjoyed comfortable quarter-final wins on Friday.

Radwanska beat Kazahkstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1 6-2, while Ukraine’s Svitolina - who knocked out top seed Angelique Kerber in the previous round - beat Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (7/3) 6-1.