Konta’s US Open run ended by sublime Svitolina
Johanna Konta’s US Open run came to an end as Elina Svitolina reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time with a straight-sets victory over the British No 1.
Fifth seed Svitolina won 6-4 6-4 to set up a last-four showdown with either Serena Williams or Qiang Wang as she continues her bid for a maiden Grand Slam title.
Meanwhile, Konta’s defeat signals the end of her 2019 outings in the Grand Slams, where she has markedly improved on her 2018 showing and returned to the world’s top 20 as a result.
After a second-round exit at the Australian Open, the 28-year-old reached the French Open semis before making the last eight at Wimbledon, but in falling at the quarter-final stage at the US Open she was unable to become the first British female to reach the semi-finals at all four majors.
Konta, seeded 16th, hit more winners than Svitolina in the match (24-16), but it was the unforced errors count which ultimately proved costly (35-13).
After two holds of serve apiece, three breaks in a row saw Svitolina edge ahead, and the Ukrainian then saved a break point in the eighth game to maintain her advantage.
Two games later, Konta rallied to save the first set point, but Svitolina converted her second opportunity to take command of the match.
Svitolina took a step closer when breaking Konta in the fifth game of the second set, but the defiant Brit hit back immediately to level at 3-3.
However, just like the first set, Svitolina broke again a game later – this time to love – and though the 24-year-old missed two match points on Konta’s serve, she made no mistake when serving it out herself.