|Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July|
|Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details|
Johanna Konta failed in her bid to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals after an error-strewn display in a straight-set defeat by Czech Barbora Strycova.
The British number one started strongly, racing to a 4-1 lead, before collapsing to lose 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.
Let down by her previously dominant serve and firing long when she had the whole court at her disposal, Konta could not find a way back.
Strycova will face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the semis.
“I think this was one of the best matches I have played,” Strycova, 33, said after reaching her maiden Grand Slam singles semi-final.
Konta’s game deserts her
Konta came into the match boasting an incredible record of having lost just three of her 47 service games at these championships.
Despite the fact she got an early break, the warning signs that the 28-year-old’s biggest weapon might not be firing properly were there in the opening game when she had to save a break point.
The errors began to creep in at 4-2 when she sent two forehands wide and wild backhand long to allow Strycova to get the break back.
It became a theme as Konta went on to produce 22 unforced errors in that opening set, with the Czech increasing in confidence as she gave Konta a lesson in effective drop shots to take it to a tie-break.
There Konta could not find a rhythm, sending a forehand into the net to hand the set to the world number world number 54.
Konta is well versed in losing opening sets and winning in a third – with a record of 13 wins from 15 three-setters this year – but this time an early break in the second put a comeback out of reach.
The game was up for the Briton when she went long with a backhand – summing up everything that was wrong with this performance.
Favourite tag hampers Konta again
Konta had been hoping to emulate her 2017 feat of reaching the last four and getting closer to becoming the first British women’s singles finalist since Virginia Wade won the title in 1977.
She has enjoyed a successful year, reaching the French Open semi-finals and two WTA finals on clay, before transferring her good form on to grass.
Her serve has been the key but against Strycova she won just 51% of her first-serve points.
In the previous two rounds she came past 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in three sets with accomplished displays but against the unseeded Strycova – where the Briton was now favourite – her game fell apart.
Her mental strength has often been questioned and it will be once again, with this defeat echoing her Roland Garros semi-final loss to another unseeded Czech, Marketa Vondrousova.
More to follow.
Leave a Reply