By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Venus Williams [11] def. Johanna Konta [6] 6-4 6-2
LONDON, UK – Johanna Konta stumbled once more at the semi-final stage as she bowed out of Wimbledon 2017 to five-time champion Venus Williams.

 

Venus Williams [11] def. Johanna Konta [6] 6-4 6-2

British No. 1 Johanna Konta may look back when she analyses this match and rue the chances missed as she was halted by Venus Williams in the semi-final.

The first set was a study in determination from both sides. There was no sign of a break-point for the first eight games, as Konta overcame a nervy start, and in fact the first wobble came from Williams, fending off two break points before taking the initiative and breaking Konta for the first set.

Being in a Slam semi-final is not new for Konta, but the home crowd wanted some magic to happen, but a barrage of serves, shots and angles from Williams had Konta on the back foot, as she succumbed on her third break point. As Williams consolidated the break it looked a veritable Everest to conquer for the Brit.

She can take comfort in making Williams work for it though. She saved two match points before Williams claimed her berth in Saturday’s final.

Williams acknowledged Konta’s run here, having only made it as far as the second round once in her previous attempts.

She said: “She played an amazing tournament. She showed a lot of courage, played in tough situations against players who were in form. I feel like she wants these majors, she’ll have an opportunity.

“She’s played some amazing matches against me, as well. They were all well-contested, and today was, too.”

 

Konta makes Top 5 Debut on Monday

Konta, who chuckled at the prospect of the ‘Konta Mania’ on the hill admitted that once Williams got a foothold in a game, it was very difficult to get on the attack.

She explained: “She looks to dictate from the very first ball. When she puts herself in a position to do that, she plays with a lot of depth, a lot of speed, and you don’t get much of a chance to get your, I guess, grip into the points.

“So when she is on the offensive, that’s where she’s her best. If she makes it difficult for you to dictate, then you are a lot of the times at her mercy.”

For Konta now there is the much awaited U2 concert, perhaps a little more baking and some time to decompress before the US hard court swing, and looks set to crack the World Top 5. Only three British women have achieved that since the WTA Rankings were introduced in November 1975 – Virginia Wade (career-high of No. 2), Sue Barker (career-high No. 3) and Jo Durie (No. 5).

She said: “It’s a nice achievement. I guess it’s a nice club to be a part of. But, again, I’m looking to keep getting better. I’m not, I guess, satisfied with where I am now. I do want to keep improving. I definitely do want to keep pushing myself to be the best that I can be.”

Konta is next scheduled to play in the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

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