Johanna Konta got past a quality opponent in Caroline Garcia as she became the first Brit to progress to the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships since Jo Durie did so back in 1984. Konta prevailed in three sets after a tough battle, setting up a meeting with Simona Halep in her first ever quarterfinal appearance at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Konta steals the first set
Konta had the best possible start to the match as she broke serve in the opening game with the help of some impressive offensive style of tennis, coming into the match firing on all cylinders. The Brit looked very solid at the start, strolling to consolidate the break as she jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Garcia then got herself onto the scoreboard after coming up with some powerful serves, forcing errors out of her opponent as she tightened the scoreline. After an exchange of service holds, Konta was in trouble for the first time in the day after having to save a break point to hold serve eventually, hanging onto her lead tightly.
The Brit soon placed herself just one game away from winning the first set after having yet another comfortable service hold and looked to cruise through all her service games. Unfazed by the pressure despite being taken to deuce while serving to stay in the set, Garcia managed to show nerves of steel and utilized some forehand winners to narrowly hold her serve. Wasting a set point along the way, Konta played her worst game of the set as she threw away the advantage at the most crucial moment, allowing Garcia a way back into the set. After an exchange of love service holds, the set was eventually taken into a tiebreak to decide its winner. Jumping out to a formidable 3-0 lead, Konta did not look back as she managed to seal the tiebreak 7-3 with an ace, and clinching the first set 7-6 after 55 minutes of play.
Garcia fights back to take the second set
Clinching the opening service game in the second set, Konta looked poised for a straight sets victory. Unexpectedly, Garcia took the lead for the first time in the match when she broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, with a deciding set looking possible now. Playing some of her best tennis, the Frenchwoman easily consolidated the break and looked very comfortable having the lead. Konta’s woes further continued as she lost her fourth consecutive game and was broken for the second straight time, allowing Garcia to open up a 4-1 lead.
Garcia was just one game away from winning the second set as she consolidated the break with a service winner and was controlling the proceedings. An improbable comeback looked to be incoming when Konta rattled off three straight games to lessen the deficit to just one solitary game. Nevertheless, the Frenchwoman regained the momentum at the most crucial moment as she successfully served out the set at the second time of asking, holding her serve to love and sending the match into a deciding set.
Konta makes the first breakthrough in the final set to clinch the match
The final set was largely dominated by serve, with both players being very solid and powerful on their serves. With neither players looking to give up their service game, a break point opportunity looked very rare. Just at the crucial moment when Garcia was serving to stay in the match at 4-5, she crumbled to the pressure as Konta powered herself to the victory after 131 minutes of play, triumphing in three tough sets.
Stats Corner: Both players were playing some incredible tennis
Konta hit 29 winners and it went along with just a mere 14 unforced error throughout this encounter, with the losing Frenchwoman excelling in this aspect after blasting 39 winners, but it also came along with 22 unforced errors. It was an affair decided by the smallest of margins as the Brit was excellent on her serve, while Garcia played some great tennis as well. Something notable is that Garcia only managed to win one single point off her second serve in the final set, costing her greatly in the final game. The decider featured only one break point, which was also a match point for Konta, thus proving how tight the match was.