Johanna Konta had little trouble in reaching the last eight at the Aegon Open after she defeated Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 in Nottingham.
The British number one delighted the home crowd with a superb start as she raced into a 4-0 lead hitting a number of winners. Her opponent hit back to cause some concern to the top seed as the scoreline was reduced to 4-3, but the Brit regrouped and got over the line in the first set. Having had that scare Konta went to another level in the second, swiftly establishing a 5-0 lead before finishing the match in one hour and 14 minutes.
* Article originally published by me for UBITennis.net *
On Wednesday they were celebrating winning their first round doubles match together against Chuang/Voracova in a final set match tiebreak 10-5 but today they went head to head on the singles court for the fourth time. The Brit led their head to head, but it was the Belgian who won their last and only encounter on grass in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.
Konta won the toss and chose to receive and it was a decision which paid off. The Brit hit three winners, finishing with a cross court forehand to break the Belgian immediately. The top seed’s fine start continued as she gave Wickmayer the runaround in the next couple of games, securing a double break after hitting yet another forehand winner.
The next game was more of a battle, with Konta being required to save two break points. The British number one saved the first with a one-two punch combination and the second with a well struck unreturned serve to extend her lead.
After such a strong start leading 4-0, the world number eight’s level dropped allowing Wickmayer back in to the match. The Belgian held to get her first game on the board and then pulled one of the breaks back after Konta went wide with a backhand.
Having watched her lead be cut to just one game and trailing 0-30 on serve Konta’s back was against the wall as she glanced over to her coach in exasperation. The Brit was able to come roaring back however and won four points in a row to stay in control of the set.
Wickmayer forced the top seed to serve for the set and it was a task which Konta came through as her opponent netted a backhand to clinch it for the Brit 6-4.
Konta made exactly the same start in the second set as she did in the first, breaking the world number 81 in both of her first two service games to fully assert her dominance on the singles court over her current doubles partner.
Wickmayer’s serve really proved to be her downfall in the second set, with the Belgian serving two double faults, winning just 29% of points behind her first serve and 38% of points behind her second. Konta secured a third break of serve to take a 5-0 lead and despite dropping serve the top seed was able to break once again to secure a comprehensive victory.
The top seed advances to face Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals on Friday after she saw off qualifier Jana Fett in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 on Wednesday.