Britain’s Johanna Konta produced another terrific performance on Monday to beat Russian Ekaterina Makarova and set up an Australian Open quarter-final number two seed Serena Williams.
Serena Williams celebrates winning her Women’s singles second round match against Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, January 19, 2017.
Ekaterina Makarova led by a set and 4-0 but needed three sets and nearly three hours to finally beat WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
With her sister, a potential final opponent, already safely into the last eight in the other side of the draw, Williams had to use all her experience to get past a dogged Strycova. “She commits 100 per cent to every shot, there’s no doubt about it”.
“I have absolutely nothing to lose in this tournament”, said Williams, 35.
“It’s always good I have something I can improve on and I know I can do better on my serve”. Everything here is a bonus for me.
She has refused to talk about the possibility of finally surpassing Steffi Graf to win a 23rd Grand Slam and take sole ownership of the Open-era record.
Williams then broke again, and tennis writer Chris Goldsmith said, “Konta definitely feeling the pressure of playing Serena Williams”.
Konta, on a nine-match winning streak, is shaping as a genuine title contender after she demolished Makarova. She finished off in the next game with another break of her own, her sixth of the match.
“She’s a really smart player – she can do pretty much everything, ” Williams said of Strycova.
The challenge against Williams, however, is to play the player rather than the success. When Beyonce released her highly popular concept record “Lemonade” previous year, Serena was there – even starring in the music video for the song “Sorry”.
“I love this Grand Slam”. They shared an unwanted link Sunday, though, when both were eliminated in the fourth round.
The win came a day after defending champion and top seed Angelique Kerber fell by the wayside. Obviously I’m here to win. “I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. In one way or another I’m sure it has helped Johanna”.
She said: “I’ve watched her game a lot”.
In the remaining men’s quarter-finals, David Goffin and 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov will be the last match on the main court before the evening session. Forehand winners were more than forehand unforced errors.
After match point, she shrugged her shoulders in a “so what” motion after moving into a quarterfinal against French Open victor Garbine Muguruza.
“Honestly, I was in a little coma, just serve and volleying my way through”, said Zverev.
“I pay attention and address situations that are noteworthy”, she added, when pressed on the subject.
Lucic-Baroni hardly played in the early years of the century because ofa series of personal issues. After a long, hard time off the tour, she has returned to the quarterfinals of a major for the first time since. Konta won 6-1, 6-4.
Williams fought off another break point later in the set and fired down two more aces to get to 4-3. Williams will next play No. 16 Barbora Strycova, who beat No. 21 Caroline Garcia 6-2, 7-5.
The top half of the women’s draw is open, too.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni continued her unlikely run with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari, and so did American qualifier Jennifer Brady. Williams converted with a backhand victor for 5-3. I was surprised at how I managed to get so many first serves in.
Here, we list a few things you should know about Konta..