Thursday, February 2News That Matters

US Open 2019: Johanna Konta beats Zhang Shuai to reach fourth round

Johanna Konta

US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

British number one Johanna Konta was in devastating form to beat China’s Zhang Shuai and reach the US Open fourth round.

The 29-year-old won 6-2 6-3 in 71 minutes to reach the last 16 for the third Grand Slam in a row.

Konta, ranked 16th in the world, will face Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the quarter-finals.

She is the last Briton left in the singles at Flushing Meadows after Dan Evans lost to Roger Federer earlier.

“I’m really pleased. I am playing tough opponents and every match is difficult,” she said.

“They are never clean and straightforward matches, there are always two players on court. There was nothing easy about that match. I had to stay clear on what was happening in the match.”

Rather like in the previous round on Thursday, where she overcame Margarita Gasparyan in just 54 minutes, Konta seized control from the start.

She broke in the opening game and never looked back, dominating on her serve with impressive figures of 88% of first-serve points won and 80% of second-serve points.

The 16th seed, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open and the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, equalled her best run at Flushing Meadows when she forced Zhang to hit long on her second match point.

She had arrived in New York on the back of successive first-round defeats at the two tournaments she played since Wimbledon but seems to have rediscovered the form that marked her excellent clay-court season, where she reached two WTA tournament finals.

In the next round here, she faces 2016 US Open runner-up Pliskova – the player who beat her in straight sets in the Italian Open final in May.

“For tonight, enjoy this success and tomorrow have a chat and look to move forward,” Konta said. “I have played her quite a few times, she has got the better of me more times than I have her but I’m looking forward to playing a Grand Slam finalist.”


British tennis player Naomi Broady on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

I’m so impressed with Jo; it’s the best I’ve ever seen her play – the variety, the moonballs, the slice. She has the highest statistics on all the stats.

It is such impressive tennis. It’s not just that she’s winning the points, it’s how she is winning them. The 5-10% of mixed variety, it’s so exciting for her game.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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