Wimbledon 2017: Konta stages stunning fightback versus Halep to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

Wimbledon 2017: Konta stages stunning fightback versus Halep to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

The British number one knocks out Second seed Simona Halep in over two and a half hours, 6-7 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

neil-leverett
Neil Leverett

Johanna Konta pulled off a remarkable comeback from a set down versus second seed Simona Halep, to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals to become the first British woman to reach the last four since Virginia Wade in 1978.

In an enthralling quarter-final encounter, the British number one came from 3-1 down in the second set tie-break to level, before sealing the win in the deciding set, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4

She will play Venus Williams in Thursday's semi-final. 

Halep dominates early on

Simona Halep, a three-time Grand slam finalist but yet to claim her first major title, was happy to trade base-line rallies with the Brit initially, despite Konta's more powerful game.

It was the Romanian who drew first blood, breaking the home crowd favourite in the opening game, moving out to an early 3-0 lead on Centre.

The second seed was peppering the back fringes of the court, forcing Konta into a string of unforced errors, with no immediate sign of stemming the flow of points to her opponent.

It was then Konta's turn however to show her own cards taking eight points in a row, breaking to love on the Halep serve, as the British number one levelled at 4-4. 

Opening breaker

The diminutive Romanian nosed ahead at 6-5 and forced the Briton to serve for the breaker to thirty.

Both players took a point off each others serve but at 2-3, Konta ballooned a net return long, then lost a lengthy exchange to hand Halep the double-break advantage. The two-time French Open finalist took the first of her four set points, to take the opening set 7-2 in the tie-break.

Halep's coach Darren Cahill looked on with quiet relief, but with his player yet to beat Konta in her WTA career - and having lost a set lead to her at the Miami Masters back in March - knew the job was far from done.

With the knowledge she could replace current world number one Angelique Kerber with a winning run at SW19 - following the German's exit on Monday - Halep saved break points in her first and fourth games of the second set, as the score moved on to 4-4.

Konta levels 

Konta, in her first Wimbledon quarter-final was showing the strain under the roof having failed to take her chances, but dug in to 5-4 with the game still threatening a swing in momentum. Games were once again shared however, with the set taken to a breaker once more. 

In a much tighter tie-break duel, both player took points each other's serve before a pivotal point at 5-5, saw Konta seize a vital break to serve for the set. The Briton served deep to Halep's forehand and the return from Konta was too good, with the Romanian chopping a return into the net, as the sixth seed levelled the match at one set all to the delight of Centre Court.

With Halep's big-game fragility returning, the game was now down to a one set shoot-out. Both ladies had chances, but it was the Brit who broke at 2-2 to stand three games from the last four.

At 4-2 up, Johanna Konta sniffed an extraordinary result, and after a Halep held twice and her opponent to love at 5-4, with the Romanian needed to break, as the Briton stood four points from glory.

Konta steeled herself at 0-15 and set up two match points. Centre held its breath, as Halep hit a return that clipped the line, but stopped playing and could only find the net. Konta makes history in becoming the first British woman into the semi-finals since 1978.    

She will play five-time Wimbledon champions Venus Williams in Thursday's semi-final, who earlier was too strong for French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, winning in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.

VAVEL Logo