Konta ousts Kvitova to reach Eastbourne QF

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By Ros Satar, in Eastbourne

  • Johanna Konta [11] def. Petra Kvitova [5] 5-7 6-4 6-0
  • Top seed Radwanska sails into the quarter-finals
  • Former champion Elena Vesnina also advances

EASTBOURNE, UK – On a day book-ended by rain, Johanna Konta, Agnieszka Radwanska and Elena Vesnina shone through at the Aegon International.

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Johanna Konta [11] def. Petra Kvitova [5] 5-7 6-4 6-0

Hopes were raised for the home crowd, as Konta deflected break points against her from the start of the match from the fifth seed, before striking back, breaking Kvitova twice in succession.

However her 5-2 lead was eroded straight away as it was Kvitova’s turn to snap back saving a set point along the way, and once more to level the set.

The momentum was firmly with the Czech as she broke Konta for the third time in a row to claim the first set.

The Brit rallied pushing for a single break in the middle of the second set, and holding on to that advantage to level the match.

With Kvitova having struggled with a right thigh injury since her second round match in Birmingham against Jelena Ostapenko, she began to look as though she was struggling to move.

Konta swiftly pushed through the games, breaking Kvitova three times to seal the victory, and it was a pretty weary Kvitova who spoke to the press after her match.

Kvitova said: “I think the energy level is very low. But I hope that everything will be fine. I have a couple of days until Wimbledon starts, which is good.

“I think the score looks terrible, for sure. But I think she [returned] everything and I think that I was serving pretty good. I had a good percentage of the first serve, and she just returned everything. It was just difficult. I don’t know what happened, actually. I didn’t really feel that it’s like 6-0 but it was. But that’s how it is sometimes. It’s not looking great (smiling).”

One thing we did discover is that the Pre-Wimbledon Players’ party is mandatory for certain players, especially if they are no longer going deep in this tournament, so was she looking forward to that?

“I was really trying to be in the competition here that I don’t have to go there. But now I have to. (Smiling).”

Perhaps inevitably, the conversation turned to last night’s final group stage matches, where Czech Republic were up against Turkey – it did not go well, with a 0-3 drubbing.

“Oh, boy. That’s terrible. Yeah. Actually, I was kind of following it because of my coaches, of course. But we didn’t play well. We will be going home, as me. Well, I’m going to Wimbledon, but anyway… It’s similar.”

Konta, storms and her father’s multi-tasking

One thing that has been a constant in Konta’s progression through the rankings has been her staunch refusal to get caught up in the hoopla of the moment, and this was no exception.

Having knocked out seeds all over the place last year, she knew that Kvitova was another good scalp to get.

She said: “It’s definitely one of my biggest wins, even though I don’t think she’s in the top 10 this week. She has been a top 10 player or top 5 player for years and years and years now.

“She really is a champion, and so I am very happy with the level I was able to produce, you know, even if it didn’t go my way and just keep, you know, kept plugging away throughout that whole match.”

She will be late on again on Thursday as she faces the winner of the suspended match between Andrea Petkovic and Ekaterina Makarova.

She said: “I guess I have been on the court against both of them, but I’ll definitely have a chat with my coach if not this evening, maybe tomorrow, because of that extended bit of time and we don’t know who I play yet.

“Also depends what time I come out here. We will see where I am on the schedule. But hopefully it will be nice to have a lie-in. I really enjoy sleeping when it’s thundering and raining outside, so hopefully there is a full-on thunderstorm tonight.”

Much has been made of her Hungarian heritage, and she was laughingly advised by her agent that perhaps her father’s concentration had been on Hungary’s 3-3 draw against Portugal

“Probably not. Oh, he was? He was. (Laughter.) I didn’t realize he was able to multi-task like that. Then he was…. Really?”


The best of the rest of the day’s results

Top seed Radwanska looked to be rounding well into form with a solid win against Eugenie Bouchard – 6-3 6-3. She will face Dominika Cibulkova next.

Qualifier Monica Puig stopped Caroline Wozniacki in her tracks – The Dane had looked pretty impressive but towards the end her serving let her down – 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Former champion Elena Vesnina beat another qualifier Madison Brengle in a tight match, 7-6(2) 6-4.


Play continues at the Aegon International at 11am BST.


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