Miami Open: Konta sets up Venus semi-final after stunning victory
Johanna Konta did not let her mind wander to the past as she became the first British woman to make the semi-finals of the Miami Open.
Konta produced a gritty 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 win over third seed Simona Halep to reach her third semi-final of 2017, though she was staring defeat in the face with Halep serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
But a resilient British number one broke after being two points away from defeat, then won an epic tie-break to level at 1-1 before running away with the deciding set.
It was not the first time Halep has capitulated against Konta with the finishing line in sight, as in their only previous meeting in Wuhan two years ago the Romanian inexplicably lost despite being 5-1 up in the final set.
That did not come into Konta’s thinking, but she went on to win anyway.
“At that point I didn’t feel there was too much momentum on her end, although she was serving for the match at 5-4 I still felt that I was very much in it and there wasn’t too much separating us in that second set,” Konta told BT Sport 1.
“I just stayed very present and fought very hard for every point.”
Halep’s solidity in defence and precision in attack had Konta on the ropes in the first set before the Briton’s comeback.
“I just tried to find my rhythm and timing out there,” Konta added.
“She was also playing very well, so it was both ends of the spectrum.
“I think I did a good job in the first set of hanging in there and playing the few extra games and just worked really hard to claw myself back into it.”
Konta’s second semi-final at this level - a Premier Mandatory event - will be against Venus Williams after the American defeated world number one Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3.