Johanna Konta got past former world number one Venus Williams in the semifinals of the Miami Open as she triumphed in straight sets despite it being a 2 hours and 6 minutes match, coming through the tough fight to book a place in her first final in Miami.
Konta halts comeback of Williams
Williams had yet another slow start to the match as she quickly fell 0-40 behind in the opening game of the match, failing to find her first serves as Konta attacked those vulnerable second serves to get the break of serve, opening up an early lead. A lengthy service game followed as Konta fended off the challenge of Williams, who managed to get to deuce three times in the game but was unable to earn a break point opportunity, consolidating the break of serve as she had a 2-0 lead early in the match.
Williams got herself into deeper trouble as she went down a double break deficit next, allowing Konta to go up 3-0 and looked to be cruising through the first set, with nothing seemingly able to stop her in her run. Nevertheless, Williams made started her comeback in the next game as she immediately earned four break points in that game, saving two game points and eventually broke serve to get one of the breaks back and lessened the deficit to just a single break now, despite being met with game point for a 0-4 deficit just moments ago.
Another tough game followed as Konta managed to get to deuce on Williams’ service game once again but failed to earn any break points as the American had her first of many service holds of the night. The Brit then had the chance to regain the lead as she went up 0-40 in the seventh game, having the golden opportunity to break serve and serve out the first set.
However, unforced errors under pressure caused Konta greatly as she wasted a total of four break points to allow Williams to hold her serve narrowly. Following up, Konta then had a tough service hold of her own in the next game as she had to save two break points in the process and placed herself just one game away from winning the first set.
Having her first comfortable service hold of the night, Williams held her serve to love as she ensured that she stayed in the set for at least one more game and forced Konta to serve for the first set under a massive amount of pressure. Despite facing some nerves while serving for the set, Konta eventually maintained her composure and sealed up the first set 6-4 after a marathon 64 minutes of play.
Konta overcomes nervy moments
Williams had the perfect start to the second set, holding her serve to love for the second consecutive time as she looked rock solid on her serves as the match progressed. She then had the chance to take the early lead in the second set as she earned two break point opportunities in her opening return game, but poor shot choices by Williams cost her the golden opportunity to make the first breakthrough as she eventually allowed Konta to narrowly hold onto her service game.
This time, it was Williams who had to maintain her composure at the crucial moments as she saved a massive amount of five break points in the third game of the set, preventing herself from lagging behind on the scoreboard as she continued the string of service holds. This gave her the momentum and confidence needed to break serve in the next game, finally taking the lead as she looked poised to level the match by winning the second set.
However, she was immediately pegged back as Konta stepped up her game to disallow Williams from consolidating the break of serve, returning level as soon as possible. After another few exchange of service holds, it was the Brit who made the next breakthrough as it came at the possibly most nervy moment of the match when the scores was at 4-4 in the second set, with Konta converting her only break point in the game with an unbelievable drop shot which was claimed to be the “Shot of the Day” by the WTA.
This allowed her to break serve and earn the golden opportunity to serve out the match, but she was unable to do so as her solid game seemed to have abandoned her at the important moments, gifting Williams back the break and increase her chances of winning the set once again. There was a third straight break of serve when Konta regained the lead and unexpectedly broke straight back to love, having the second chance to serve out the match. This time, it was a job well done by Konta as she comfortably and successfully served out the match to 15, clinching a spot in her first ever Miami Open final.