By Ros Satar
- Petra Kvitova  def. Johanna Konta  6-3 6-4
- Konta pushed down to 11 on the Road to Singapore after Svetlana Kuznetsova booked her place in the semi-final
WUHAN, CHINA – Two-time Grand Slam champion and winner of the inaugural Wuhan Open Petra Kvitova overpowered the British No. 1 Johanna Konta –keeping her bid to reach the WTA season ending finale in Singapore on ice – for now.
With a spot in the last eight edging closer after Konta’s win over Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro, to reach back to back Wuhan quarter-finals, she might have fancied her chances against the 14th seed, especially after her gruelling encounter with World No. 1 Angelique Kerber.
But when Kvitova is seeing the ball as well as she was today, are there many who can get past the tall Czech? For the most part, her movement looked just fine, as she was the one pulling Konta all around the court, often leaving the Brit just shot of reaching a deeply struck winner.
There was just maybe one moment where a Kvitova slide juddered to what looked like a painful halt as she winced as though something had just been tweaked, but she remained resolute – Konta was unable to take advantage of two chances to break back after going down 3-5 in the first set, but made Kvitova work to convert on her third set point.
She had two more chances in the second set to make a breakthrough, but Kvitova was playing clutch tennis at her best.
In other quarter-final action, Konta was pushed out of the top 10 in the race by tour veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova, who can leapfrog the Konta-vanquished Suárez Navarro, having reached the semi-final.
So what next for the Brit? She will join the rest of the WTA Elite at the Premier level tournament next week in Beijing, and according to the schedule has a WTA International in Hong Kong with no other entries for the season.
Also tantalisingly within reach is a chance to reach the World Top 10 – but for now we know that Konta’s approach will be to compartmentalise this loss, revert to the process that has seen her catapult into the World’s Top 20, and focus on Beijing, where she will be making her debut.
WTA Beijing takes place between 3-10 October.
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