WTA Eastbourne: Johanna Konta defeats two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova

Center Court would welcome a two-time Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova and Eastbourne resident, Johanna Konta. The crowd was behind the British player as she even found herself in the comfortable position of being two breaks up in the first set, but Kvitova showed why she has won Wimbledon twice and turned the set around. However, Konta didn’t give up and ended up booking a spot in the quarterfinals of the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

Kvitova comes back from two breaks down and set point

The Czech began the match with a comfortable hold, but that was not the case for the Brit who started with a double fault and that helped Kvitova to be up 0-30, but Konta recovered after hitting two amazing serves, however, it was the Czech who had the first opportunity to break but the Brit saved it with an ace. An unforced error and another great serve helped Konta to win her opening service game. Kvitova hit and an ace to go up 30-0, then the Brit missed a ball after a high bounce, another mistake gave the Czech the momentary lead 2-1. Konta had another good hold and level things up at 2-2. At this moment, everything was tight but it was Kvitova the first to get in trouble when she hit her first double fault of the match on break point, giving the Brit a lead of 3-2.

Kvitova started the next game with a drop shot winner and after another double fault from Konta she was leading 0-30, just two points away from getting the break back. Konta dealt with the power and pace of the Czech who decided to go for another drop shot, but this time, it backfired when Konta did a passing shot that helped her recover. However, again Kvitova got another break point that the Brit eventually saved with a powerful serve. So far into the match she had saved four break points to now lead 4-2. Once again, Kvitova lost her serve after hitting a double fault on break point to now extend more the lead of the Brit to 5-2. Now it was on Konta’s racquet to win the first set on her serve and she had a set point, but Kvitova ruined those plans when the Brit hit a ball into the net and with that Kvitova was the first player to break Konta in all the tournament.

The Czech held her serve but she was still a break behind and now Konta will try to serve the first set for the second time. Nevertheless, Kvitova quickly trailed with a 0-40 lead and even if Konta threw in an ace to save one break point it was not enough for her to lose the advantage of two breaks. The Czech stood strong and held her serve again, only to be up in the set 6-5. After not being able to close out the set, there was not much Konta could do to break the moment of Kvitova who had won four straight games. In 56 minutes, Kvitova came back to grab the first set 7-5.

 Petra Kvitova tosses the ball up to serve during her third round match against Johanna Konta. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA)
Petra Kvitova tosses the ball up to serve during her third round match against Johanna Konta. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA)

This time, Konta closes the second set

The momentum continued as Kvitova won her sixth straight game when she held her serve in the opening game of the second set. Konta did the same and held with an ace. In the third game, Kvitova saved a break point and later won the game with a smash to lead 2-1. Again, the serve was a huge help for the Brit who won her serve without complications. Just like in the first set it was Konta who took the early lead when Kvitova hit a ball into the net to gift the break to Konta. The Brit consolidated that break with an easy game of serve.

After that setback, Kvitova showed signs of improvement when she held to love. But the Brit was not giving anything away and now was leading 5-3. Still a break behind, Kvitova had to keep her serve to attempt to repeat the history of the first set and break Konta to come back. The Brit again struggled to close the set after hitting a double fault on set point and then a long ball to let Kvitova get back in the game as it stood 40-40. However, history didn’t repeat as Konta closed the second set after three set points, 6-4.

johanna Konta celebrates her victory during her third round match against Petra Kvitova. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA)
johanna Konta celebrates her victory during her third round match against Petra Kvitova. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA)

Konta dominates the two-time Wimbledon champion

It was hard for Kvitova to lose the second set, but there was still one more set to be played. The Brit player had been playing almost perfect, except for that slip in the first set. The momentum for Konta only got bigger when she broke Kvitova in the first game of the final set. A returned that stayed on the net gave Konta the consolidation of the break. The Brit hit an amazing return to get another break point that eventually Kvitova would gift with an unforced error. Konta confirmed the break and now was leading 4-0. The two-time Wimbledon champion was gone as she didn’t seem to be playing her best. The Czech who had a strapped thigh was struggling with her movement because of the injury and it showed when Konta broke for the third time in the set to be up 5-0. In just 31 minutes, Johanna Konta defeated one of the best players on grass, Petra Kvitova 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.

Konta to meet Makarova or Petkovic next

Because of the rain, Johanna Konta will have to wait a little longer to find out who will be her next opponent as the match between Andrea Petkovic and Ekaterina Makarova was canceled due weather issue when they had played just one game. The Brit leads the head-to-head against both players and they have faced the same amount of times, two. Konta leads 2-0.

Both of her meeting with Petkovic happened in 2015, the first one was during the US Open where Konta won in straight sets and the second one in Wuhan where she also dominated in two sets. As for Makarova, their first meeting was in this tournament last year and Konta also won in straight sets. Their last meeting happened at the Australian Open where Konta had a great run reaching semifinals, in that match the Brit prevailed in three sets.