Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Konta into semis for Britain

The final quarter final for the women was the unexpected one.  Joanna Konta from Great Britain, ranked 47, against Zhang Shuai from China, ranked 133.  Those rankings will improve markedly whatever the results from here.

Hard to pick a winner but Konta has the more impressive results in her CV so for the record she is the one selected to earn a semi final berth against Kerber.

Zhang served first and was up 30-0.  A forcing backhand drew the error from Konta and 40-0. Zhang held for 1-0.  A good serve for 15-0 Konta.  30-0 after Zhang found the net. An ace for 1-1.  
With her second break point, Konta broke the Zhang serve, forcing errors on the final two points. Konta led 2-1.

A couple of winning forehands and an ace saw Konta consolidate and lead 3-1.  Zhang held serve with her backhand helping, and Konta was impressive, her forehand dominant as she extended her lead to 4-2.

A love game on Zhang's serve including Konta winners and a Zhang double fault brought another break and 5-2 for Konta.  When serving for the set Konta struggled, with four deuces, and on her second break point double faulted but still led 5-3.

Zhang had her forehand working well and held serve to draw to 4-5 and Konta served again for the set.  Once more Zhang created a break point but a Konta ace dismissed that and eventually another ace and a service winner gave her the game and set 6-4.

In set two,  Konta created break point in the first game with a forehand winner and broke serve with a winning backhand.  Zhang came back strongly and Konta's double fault created two break back points.  An ace saved one, but an error cost her and games were one each.

Konta completely outplayed Zhang after that disappointment and won the remaining five games of the match, including breaking the Zhang serve a further three times.

Joanna Konta defeated Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-1 and will play Angelique Kerber in a semi final.

Although losing easily, Zhang had a terrific tournament, making the quarters having never won a match before at GS level.  And she had to win through qualifying to even make the main draw.

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