Konta cruises into China Open quarter-final

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta booked her spot in the quarter-finals of the China Open with a rain-delayed 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Karolina Pliskova in Beijing.

Konta is the British No1 and is aiming to force her way into the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month.

She began well and advanced into a 4-1 lead following an early break against Pliskova before the players were taken off the court due to a downpour.

When play resumed the The 25-year-old seeded 11th built on her early momentum breaking the world No7 again before wrapping up the first set in just 27 minutes.

Pliskova, however, responded well in the second set, breaking Konta in a closely fought sixth game to lead 4-2 and then closed out her own service to level the match.

Both players struggled on service in the crucial decider, although Konta saved three break points to lead 6-5 before Pliskova forced the tie-break.

It was Konta who remained composed and she made the most of an early mini-break to open up a 4-1 lead, which she pushed home to seal a place in the last eight against Chinese player Zhang Shuai who beat fourth seed Simona Halep 6-0 6-3 in 58 minutes later on Thursday, in the last eight.

Konta, ranked 14th in the world, is currently ninth in the race to Singapore, with the top eight qualifying for the tournament.