By Ros Satar

  • Johanna Konta [11] def. Madison Keys 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4
  • Faces Agnieszka Radwanska for the second time this year for her biggest title to date
  • Her win over Madison Keys makes Konta just the fourth British woman to reach the Top 10 since Jo Durie, in 1984 (since the WTA Rankings began)
BEIJING, CHINA – Johanna Konta continued her meteoric rise by cracking the Top 10, and as it stands is in the final WTA Finals berth.

 

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Johanna Konta [11] def. Madison Keys 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4

With both players ranked in the top two spots for the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, and battling hard for the last two berths for the WTA Finals, there was all to play for in this semi-final. Keys is enjoying a great run at the moment, playing with more confidence in her shot-making, and Konta has found a sense of focus that has seen her fly up the rankings.

After perhaps an understandable nervy start by both, trading breaks but it was Konta who struck first to take the advantage. Keys kept calm, sending balls back with pace and intent, rewarded with a break back eventually forcing a tie-break.

Konta has excelled in fighting her way through matches, surging ahead in the tie-break, dominating it for her to take the first set. Keys dialled in a lot more after effectively giving up the tie-break, picking up the pace in the second set, breaking twice in a row.

Konta had to defend five set points before finally getting one of the breaks back on her third break point, yet it was not enough for her to stop Keys from levelling the match.

The third set started as with the first, trading the first two breaks, with no quarter given for the rest of the set. Some aggressive play by Konta put her in the driving seat for a final break to earn a place in her biggest final to date, and her spot in the Top 10 assured.

 

Konta v Agnieszka Radwanska [3] – H2H: Radwanska leads 1-0

After such an achievement to reach the Top 10, we have to hope that there won’t be an element of flatness when she faces the Pole for the second time this year. In their first encounter in Cincinnati once more it was Konta who pushed Radwanska at the start, taking the first set tie-break but after a competitive start to the second, a dumped forehand in the net suddenly brought about an out of character collapse from Konta who barely registered on the board afterwards.

There is every reason to believe that her aggressive play will maybe see her edge another close first set, and there is no doubt that Konta is fit and has great court coverage, but the sheer versatility of shots from Radwanska may prove to be too much.

Radwanska is now locked in to her spot in Singapore to defend her title and a win for Konta could see her get within touching distance of the qualification cut. But with many of the other contenders heading to Linz, Konta is not home and dry yet, and she may need a solid run n Hong Kong to keep that dream alive on an already momentous week.

Prediction: Radwanska in three sets.

 

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