Johanna Konta refusing to take rivals lightly in her quest for Wimbledon glory

Johanna Konta positioned herself as a title contender at Wimbledon by knocking out two-time former champion Petra Kvitova to reach the quarter-finals for the second time.

Johanna Konta.
Johanna Konta.

Two years after setting British fans dreaming of a first home female singles champion since Virginia Wade with her run to the semi-finals, Konta is once again into the latter stages.

The 28-year-old recovered from a set down for the second successive round to beat Kvitova 4-6 6-2 6-4 and will face another Czech, unseeded Barbora Strycova, in the last eight today.

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Seventh seed Simona Halep is the highest-ranked player left but Konta rejected the idea that this is a golden opportunity, saying: “Every person that’s still in the draw, there’s a reason why they’re still in the draw. The eight best players of this tournament are still playing.

“I actually felt quite fine. The way it went from 5-2 to 5-4 was very much on Petra’s racket. She played very freely in the end. The balls were coming like bullets.

“There’s not much that I did wrong there. I actually thought I did quite well in trying to stay with her and trying to close it out in that 5-2 game. However, I also felt equally comfortable and confident that I was still doing the right things. I was either going to get another opportunity or I wasn’t really.”

Konta will undoubtedly be the favourite against 33-year-old Strycova, ranked 54, although the Czech did win their only previous meeting in Tokyo two years ago.

“She’s a very crafty player,” said Konta. “She knows how to mix up the game. She knows how to play on this surface.”