Johanna Konta’s quest for a first Grand Slam title continued at Wimbledon on Friday, with the sixth seed easing past Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 to reach the fourth round at her home Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Konta, who is now the bookie’s favorite for the title following the losses of Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova, looked completely unburdened by any pressure out on Court One, saving all three break points against her as she saw off her Greek opponent with relative ease.
The Brit faces 21st seed Caroline Garcia in the fourth round, with a quarterfinal place against Victoria Azarenka or second seed Simona Halep at stake.
Superb Konta eases past erratic Sakkari
In her previous match, Konta had been pushed to the brink by Donna Vekic, though there were signs early on that this would be a much more simple match as the Brit broke in the opening game. Now the favorite for the title, the sixth seed did not look burned under any pressure at all in the opening stages of the match, though Sakkari got herself on the board to avoid going a double break down.
After a slow start, Sakkari had undoubtedly settled into what was perhaps the biggest match of her career, though could do very little on the Brit’s serve, with Konta easing to a 4-2 lead out on Court One. The Greek was certainly more in the match now than she had been in the opening ten minutes, though she missed two break back points on Konta serve, which eventually proved costly. She herself held a tight service game, though the Brit was untested as she served out the set to 15.
The only mistake that Sakkari had really made in the first set was her nervy start, and that was the same once again in the second set, as Konta came through a ten-minute game to put herself a break up. The Brit was looking extremely comfortable on court, consolidating her break with ease, and, unlike in the first set, secured a double break to put herself firmly in control of proceedings as she looked to make the fourth round at her home Grand Slam for the first time.
Sakkari may have had the power to challenge the sixth seed, though was just becoming a little erratic out on Court One as Konta took control of the majority of the proceedings. The Greek managed to avoid the bagel five games into the set, and then had a point to get one of the breaks back, though it was saved with a big serve by the Brit and it turned out to be the last glimmer of hope Sakkari received, with Konta breaking for a fourth time in the match to seal victory in just one hour and 15 minutes.