Konta reaches Wimbledon quarter-finals

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Johanna Konta had never reached the second week at Wimbledon before this year

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since 1984 with a hard-fought win over France’s Caroline Garcia.

Sixth seed Konta won 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 on Court One to reach her third Grand Slam quarter-final.

The 26-year-old goes on to face second seed Simona Halep or Victoria Azarenka.

Defending champion Andy Murray will try to reach the last eight when he plays Frenchman Benoit Paire on Centre Court later on Monday.

It is 44 years since Britain had a man and woman in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, and 33 years since Jo Durie was Britain’s last woman to make it that far.

“When I was a little girl, and even now, I dreamt of being in these battles and on the big stages,” Konta told BBC Sport.

It was such a tough match – Konta

Konta rose to the challenge once again to make more history in her breakthrough Wimbledon campaign.

She had won just one match in five previous visits to the All England Club, but looks increasingly at home after coming through another test of nerve.

Garcia, 23, was once tipped by Murray as a future world number one and has begun to realise that talent at the top of the game in 2017.

Konta needed over three hours to beat Dona Vekic in the second round and, although a much quicker match, Garcia put up similarly stern resistance.

The last time the pair met it came down to a final set tie-break, won by Garcia, and again the margins were desperately tight in a match of big serves, attacking returns and short rallies.

Konta kept her error count down to just five in the first set and dominated the tie-break, after failing to serve out at 5-4.

Garcia then raced into a 5-1 lead in the second as she continued to serve well, while Konta’s forehand began to falter.

However, Konta pegged the Frenchwoman back to 5-4 and, although Garcia clinched the set at the second opportunity, both women went into the decider with some momentum.

The match came down to the slimmest of margins, with Konta losing just five points on serve and Garcia six – but the last of those was a match point, and the French player snatched at a forehand and found the net.

Konta fell to her knees in celebration, saying afterwards: “It was such a tough match to play.

“She is in impressive form, it’s hard to get any rhythm when she’s serving so well and gets her first strike in.

“I was happy that I was able to get enough returns in that final game. I was trying to stay light on my feet and strong in my body.”

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