Konta, who just grazed the Top 100 (97) ahead of the last Slam of the year had to grapple with a spirited fightback from a labouring Petkovic, to win the match on her sixth match point. Before this week, Konta had never made it past the round of any Grand Slam.
“It’s all a progression,” said Konta after the match. “I feel like I’ve been playing a good level of tennis all year. It’s always a confidence boost when you get to play against the best players in the world.”
After losing the first set, things took a troubling turn for the German, who complained of feeling unwell and was looking very distressed taking a medical time-out with doctors in attendance. But full credit to the German, she refused to quit and when asked about it in press, said:
“Once I decide to play, that’s it out of respect to everyone.”
Feeling ropey or not, Petkovic broke Konta the first time she served for the set and forced her to take it to a second service game.
“It was definitely tough because, even if she’s not feeling her best, she’s one of the best competitors on the tour,” said Konta. “She definitely didn’t give it to me, as you can tell from the last three games.”
With this win, Konta now is the first British woman to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam since Laura Robson reached the second week, three years ago, and Konta is rapidly making up ground on the current British No. 1 Heather Watson, who went out in the first round to American Lauren Davis.
She faces two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who sometimes can struggle in the heat and humidity of New York, but make very light work of Anna Schmiedlova and is looking in great form, despite having been diagnosed with mono, and it affecting her build up to matches.
Konta has picked two ITF titles (10 wins) since losing to Maria Sharapova in the first round of Wimbledon this year, and then had to win three matches in the qualifying rounds, before her three wins here.
Konta and Kvitova will be scheduled in the US Open fourth round matches on Monday.
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