Johanna Konta reaches French Open quarter-finals with win over Donna Vekic
Konta will meet the 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens on Tuesday
Last Updated: 03/06/19 2:04pm
British No 1 Johanna Konta continued her sparkling run at the French Open by beating Donna Vekic to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the fourth time.
Konta was already the first British woman through to the fourth round at Roland Garros since 1983, and having claimed her first-ever win at the tournament last week, she is now one win away from matching Jo Durie's achievement of making the semi-finals that year.
This performance was her best yet given the calibre of her opponent - Vekic is at a career-high mark of No 24 in the world rankings and has enjoyed a very good season so far.
Konta took control of the match from the start and did not allow Vekic to impose herself in a 6-2 6-4 victory, studded with 33 winners.
"To be able to win a match like this against a really tough opponent - I feel very fortunate for the way I played and I knew I had to against Donna," Konta said.
"We've had a number of great battles. I've lost the last two but this was the first time playing on clay.
"I knew I had the game to be able to beat her but she also has the game to beat me. When I came out on court I really tried to do the best that I can."
World No 26 Konta had lost their last two previous encounters, but she has been a player rejuvenated since getting onto clay, previously her worst surface, and her knowledge of Vekic's game certainly seemed to help her.
After breaking Vekic's serve for a third time, Konta saved three break points at 5-2 with winners before clinching the set with an ace.
The beginning of the second set was tighter but Konta was playing with complete conviction in her shots, something that has been lacking since her run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon two summers ago.
Since then she has dipped nearly outside the top 50 in the rankings from a high of four - but this win could well see her climb back inside the top 20, and there is no doubt she is playing tennis worthy of that and higher.
She put her first foot wrong by failing to hold serve for 5-3 in the second set after breaking Vekic.
But another break of the Croatian's serve, clinching with a precision drop shot, left her serving for the match and this time there were no wobbles as she served it out to love.
Konta will meet the 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens for a spot in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Croatia's Petra Martic rallied from a set down to beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 5-7 6-2 6-4 and seal progress to her maiden Grand Slam quarter-finals.
Martic, who recorded her tour-leading 15th clay court win of the season, will next face Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.
Vondrousova continued to impress as she walloped Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-0.
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