Konta overcomes Cibulkova in Cincinnati

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Konta reached the last 16 on her debut in Cincinnati last year

Britain’s Johanna Konta won a hard-hitting contest against Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova to reach the Cincinnati Open quarter-finals.

The seventh seed won 6-3 6-4 to reach the last eight for the first time, setting up a rematch of her Wimbledon quarter-final against Simona Halep.

Romanian second seed Halep beat Latvian 15th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 6-3.

In the men’s event, top seed Rafael Nadal will play fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas later on Thursday.

Bulgarian seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov beat Argentine Juan Martin del Potro for the first time in six attempts, coming through 6-3 7-5.

Konta sees off spirited Cibulkova

Konta, 26, did well to win a match that was far tougher than the straight-set scoreline suggests and break new ground in Cincinnati.

Five double-faults and a first-serve percentage of just 54% meant the Briton had to work harder than usual in her service games, with Cibulkova teeing off aggressively on the return.

Konta took the first set with two breaks of serve to one and looked to have the match well under control when she broke at the start of the second set.

However, Cibulkova refused to submit and had three break points for a 4-2 lead as a gripping set unfolded.

Konta clung on, and grabbed her chance with a deep return on break point at 4-4 before serving out for a fine win, finishing with 24 winners to Cibulkova’s 10.

Muguruza back from the brink

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza saved three match points on her way to beating American Madison Keys for the first time in four meetings.

The Spanish fourth seed came through 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3) to set up a quarter-final against Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-4.

“You never knew who was going to win until the last point,” said Muguruza. “I had match points against me so it was really hard. I battled back and I’m glad things went my way.”

Sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark saw off Australian qualifier Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-2.

World number one Karolina Pliskova and fifth seed Elina Svitolina are among those in action later on Thursday.


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