US Open 2019: Johanna Konta beats Karolina Pliskova to reach quarter-finals

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From Jonathan Jurejko
BBC Sport in Flushing Meadows
By edging an game against Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, johanna Konta reached the US Open quarter-finals for the first time.
Konta, 28, fought back from a set and 3-1 down to win 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-5.
After the Ukrainian fifth seed beat Madison Keys 7-5 6-4 she will confront Elina Svitolina at the last eight.
“I’ve been in the fourth round twice before so reaching the quarter-finals is a large achievement for me,” said the British number one.
“The key was to continue, with Karolina you know there’ll be enormous parts of the match where I do not feel effective.
“It is about staying there and trusting the basic things. It was a terrific match and I’m so satisfied.”
The 16th seed missed chances in the first place before writing herself to punish an Pliskova. The Czech won 77% of points on her first serve and served 16 aces but those statistics were undermined by nine double faults and a second serve which earned her only seven points.
Konta continued to trust her skill against the similarly strong Pliskova, landing 45 winners that was a key differential and outnumbered her unforced errors and was hitting groundstrokes all championship.
Konta, who is the very first British woman to reach the quarter-finals at New York since Jo Durie in 1983, has made the last eight in all four Grand Slams.
Earlier this year she also even reached Wimbledon quarter-finals and the French Open semi-finals.
On emulating Durie, Konta stated:”I am quite delighted with that and, more especially, this year to make it three quarter-finals in successive Grand Slams is a huge achievement.
“I shall enjoy this but I have to keep looking forward and attempt to head one, two or three steps further.”
Konta will face 24-year-old Svitolina, who appreciated a routine win over seed and 2017 Keys that are finalist in the night session match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It will be another excellent battle,” said Svitolina, who boasts a 3-0 winning record against Konta.
Konta, affirmed by celebrity Tom Hiddleston within her participant box, began strongly against a competitor who had won six of the seven previous meetings that were tour-level.
She broke to love from the very first game and continued to make opportunities as the Catholic fought to property serves, allowing Konta to dismantle Pliskova’s second function on her way to setting up nine points for a break.
Pliskova rallied to conserve all of them and it looked likely to prove costly after her support game – which she had dropped in her 3 games that were past – disintegrated.
Konta failed to land a primary serve because she tried to watch the opener in 5-4 out, paying off the price as the Czech rediscovered her main weapon to instead take the benefit.
Pliskova looked in control as she broke in the first game of the second set and won eight out of 10 points.
But, after the pair traded two successive breaks, momentum changed back to Konta, who won five games in a row to shoot an match into a decider.
Konta had won 16 of the 19 three-set matches and seemed set to improve that tally when a service game from Pliskova, that featured three unforced errors and a double fault, left the Briton.
But as when she served for the first set, nerves appeared to take support and by bringing up break point, Pliskova threatened to level. Konta, however, composed herself again with a forehand winner down the line.
After missing a match point, she refresh to succeed in the next opportunity if 27-year-old Pliskova – still searching for a Grand Slam name himself – hit to return in two hours and 20 minutes.
“It was important to not panic or be worried,” Konta stated about battling back from a set and a break .
“I had been doing a lot of good things out there and then I kept right into perspective I had been playing with the number three player in the world.
“I was delighted with what I had been doing so first set, even though I wasn’t able to come through, and I felt that there was a good deal for me to build on.
“I trust in my ability to make more chances and I was able to do that.”
BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller in Flushing Meadows
Johanna Konta won that game the way that was difficult. Many would have subsided after losing a first set they had dominated – particularly after being broken in a row at the onset of the moment.
However, Konta appears to relish mixing it, and has an outstanding album this year.
She’s won her previous four matches against top 10 players at Grand Slams – against Sloane Stephens twice, Petra Kvitova and today Karolina Pliskova.
The serve is the bedrock of her match, once the match was up for grabs, but she also hit publicly and bravely from the baseline.
To have reached the final eight of four Grand Slams is a powerful accomplishment, and she is the active player to get done.
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