Brilliant Konta demolishes Stephens 6-1 6-4 to reach French Open semi-finals
Jo Konta become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals of the French Open in 36 years with a rout of Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros on Tuesday.
Konta, who had never won even a match on the clay of Roland Garros before this year, played arguably the best match of her career against Stephens, who herself had looked in good form en-route to the quarters.
Stephens, who reached the final at Roland Garros in 2018, was simply blown away by the Brit in straight sets, 6-1 6-4, and rarely looked like getting a handle on Konta’s aggressive service game.
Konta will face the unseeded Markéta Vondrousova for a final place on Thursday after the Czech player completed a surprise 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 win over 26th seed Petra Martic later on Tuesday.
A balanced start to the match lasted for just three games before Konta stepped up a gear to secure an early break to go 3-1 up in the first set, and that game sparked a ridiculous run from the 28-year-old, who made it seven games in a row when she went a break and two-games up in the second set.
Konta’s aggressive returning game was impressive, but it was her service that really proved unstoppable, with the Brit winning over 80% if first serve points and giving Stephens little to no chance on a large number of points.
Stephens certainly didn’t capitulate, responding well in the second set to the challenge posed by her red-hot opponent, at least taking three services games in the second set, but in this sort of form Konta is going to be a match for anyone and will go into the last four brim-full of confidence.
Speaking after her victory, Konta said: "It’s hard for me to say (if this is the best performance of my career), but dealing with the conditions out here and an opponent like Sloane – who at any point can run away with that – I was really pleased that I was able to keep her on the back foot a little bit and just try to control the points as much as possible.
"This is my first time on the new Philippe Chatrier and to play one of the best players in the world and to play at the level I did – I feel really proud of myself. I’m really happy that I got to enjoy this moment."