It would be a first career meeting between Daria Kasatkina and Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International as it would be yet another blockbuster match-up in Sydney. Kasatkina was off a career-best season after her rise in the rankings last year and followed it up with her best win of her career just yesterday against the world number one Angelique Kerber in the second round of the competition. Whereas, Johanna Konta went through both her matches in straight sets as she strolled to easy victories over Arina Rodionova and Daria Gavrilova in the first two rounds. Konta eventually managed to close out the match in straight sets despite a very close battle which was not reflected by the scoreline.
Konta strolls to the first set
It was the Brit who had a fast start to the match as she made the first breakthrough of the match after she broke Kasatkina’s serve with some excellent attacking style of tennis. The Russian did not let her have the lead easily though as she broke back immediately in the following game after Konta failed a drop shot attempt on the break point opportunity to allow Kasatkina to return back on serve in the first set. There was a third straight break of service as the Russian was unable to go against the fearsome offense of Konta which helped her to break serve once more and regain her lead. This time Konta finally managed to consolidate the break of service with a comfortable hold as she jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Kasatkina almost allowed the Brit to run away with the first set as she faced break down when in the sixth game but managed to hold her nerves to gain a service hold to lessen the deficit by one game. As both players became more solid on their serves as the match progressed, Konta eventually served out the set 6-3 after just 38 minutes to be halfway from a semifinal spot.
Konta edges through
Kasatkina looked to be done with the match as Konta jumped out to a lead just in the first game of the second set as she broke serve to earn the lead of a set and a break to be the favourite to close out the match. Her celebrations were short-lived though as Kasatkina broke back immediately after she hit a winner off a drop shot to return the second set on serve. The Russian then looked to be on course to level the match at one set all as she ran out to a 4-2 lead after breaking serve to take the lead for the first time in the match. A marathon game in that game then saw Konta breaking serve in another very tough game which concluded after 21 points and saving four game points to keep herself in the second set. Kasatkina once again had her chances to regain the lead as she earned a break point in the following game only to waste it and allow Konta to hold her serve. The second set was eventually extended to an 11th game but Konta proved that experience matters as she broke Kasatkina at 5-5 after saving another three break points to earn the lead in the set once again and earn the chance to serve out the match. She did just so as she comfortably served out the match to love and closed out the match in straight sets after 102 minutes.
Konta progresses to the second round
The Brit would now face wildcard Eugenie Bouchard who had an awesome run this week in Sydney for a place in the final, and it would definitely be a tight affair with both players looking in their top form and playing their best tennis.