Johanna Konta made her third consecutive quarterfinal at the Aegon International in her hometown of Eastbourne, battling past French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in a thrilling third round contest.
The tennis was high quality without, with both women putting in pretty impressive performances, though it was Konta, in front of her home crowd, who rose to the occasion, coming from a break down in the third set to seal an impressive victory and end Ostapenko’s eight-match winning streak.
The Brit, who reach the last four in 2016, faces top seed Angelique Kerber later today in the last eight.
British number one proves too strong for French Open champion
Ostapenko came into this encounter having won her last eight matches, and that confidence showed as she came from 30-0 down to break in the opening game of the match. The Latvian, certainly the most powerful of the two, was striking the ball ferociously and seemed comfortable as she built up an early 3-1 lead, though some more aggressive play by Konta saw the Brit break back to even things up in the opening set.
The Latvian had got off to the better start of the two, though Konta had worked her way into the match against Ostapenko, who was starting to make one or two errors as the opening set progressed. However, despite a slight drop in her level, the Latvian was still competitive, with the two closely matched through until 5-5, where Konta took another step up, dictating play and breaking on her third set point to take the first set 7-5.
Konta undoubtedly had the momentum heading into the second set, having come from a break down and winning the final two games of the set, though both herself and Ostapenko were tight in the opening stages of set two, with break points being saved in the opening three games, though a love hold by Ostapenko saw her comfortably level things back up again. Both women then held comfortably to see the score tied at three games apiece, before Ostapenko made a decisive move.
In a tight service game, the Latvian broke with a superb forehand winner and backed the break up with a comfortable hold to put her just a game away from taking the match to a decider. Konta had not done too much wrong to find herself a break down but was seemingly starting to struggle with Ostapenko’s power and excellent precision, and the Latvian successfully piled on the pressure to break for a second time, and take the match to a decider.
Just like Konta in the second set, Ostapenko had the momentum coming into the decider but was tight early on, though saved a break point to hold before Konta ended a run of five games against her to level things up. Konta then seemingly put herself in a decisive position, breaking from 40-0 down, though immediately handed the break back to Ostapenko after some careless errors.
The Latvian fended off a break point to put herself back in front in the third set, before breaking once again for a 4-2 lead, though was then broken back to love as the set developed into a real topsy-turvy affair. With Konta holding from 0-30 down, both women were just two games away from victory, and it was Konta who rose to the occasion, breaking before saving two break points and converting her third match point to reach the last eight.