Sports

Johanna Konta wins three-hour slugfest at Wimbledon and Britain is amped

Johanna Konta wins three-hour slugfest at Wimbledon and Britain is amped

Greece's Maria Sakkari came back from a set down to reach the third round of the championships for the first time, beating Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-4 on Court 14.

"I competed really well", Konta said.

But Konta, who had only won once at Wimbledon before this year's run, says there is still room for further improvement in her game. "It's going to be a very tough match".

She had to ride a storm from Sakkari to protect a 4-3 lead later in that set, but eventually emerged with her serve intact, and kept her comfortable lead alive.

The sixth seed was beaten by Vekic in the Nottingham Open final last month, but gained revenge in a titanic tussle which lasted three hours and 10 minutes. That went to the Frenchwoman in a third-set tie-breaker-and this could go the same way. The Briton survived two break points to seal the opener, before easing her way through the second after an early break.

"Definitely one of the most epic matches", Konta told a news conference when asked to compare the Vekic tie with others in her career.

But that is to be hypercritical of yet another impressive performance that set up a last-16 clash with French ace Caroline Garcia on Monday.

"Yesterday's match will have done her a lot of good, that's for sure. But for sure, it will be a very hard match for me". She was moving well.

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Five-time Wimbledon champion Williams battled through with victory over Osaka. I feel like I have structure.

Along with Azarenka, Kvitova's return at the All England Club has been the feel-good story of the championships but the two-time victor will play no further part after she was beaten by Madison Brengle.

She said: "Because there was so little separation of going either way, I think you nearly do end up feeling a little bit of both, or I do, anyway".

"It was more of a sense of kind of congratulating her and us for the battle that we presented on Centre Court, which was, I think, was a great atmosphere to be a part of". On the last occasion in 2015, the Brit was two points away from knocking out eventual champion Serena Williams, but it was not to be as the American showed her mettle when it mattered most. She could only beat herself. I saw Aljaz won, too.

"I think he served well every set". And yet this is her first appearance in the third round!

Coaches are allowed on court at times during matches on the WTA Tour, but not during Grand Slam events. Obviously we want to try and do better than that.

"The whole match I was a little bit on the back foot".

On a searingly hot day in south-west London there could be no doubting that the British No 1 thoroughly deserved her win.


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