Wimbledon Day 8: Konta comes from behind to stun Halep, Djokovic crusies past Mannarino

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1978 on day eight at SW19, as the sixth seed edged past Romania’s Simona Halep.

The British number one had to battle back from a set down to clinch a thrilling 6-7 (2/7) 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 quarter-final victory over the second seed, as she moved to within two wins away from a first grand slam title.

Johanna Konta denied Simona Halep the world number one spot
image: skysports.com

Konta recovered from 4-1 down in the opening set to force a tie-break, but two errors saw the 26-year-old fall 5-2 down. Halep set up set point with a sweeping forehand winner, before Konta’s 12th error handed her the set.

The sixth seed let four break points slip as the second set also went to a tie-break, but Konta held firm to force the match into a decider by winning the second set with a backhand into the corner.

Konta scored the crucial break point in the fifth game of the final set with a forehand down the line to help her into the semi-finals for the first time and keep hopes of a first British female champion since Virginia Wade in 1977 alive.

Konta now faces a last four clash against five-time champion Venus Williams, as the veteran American knocked out French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in her 100th singles match at Wimbledon.

The up-and-coming Latvian could not match Williams’ experience as the 37-year-old broke Ostapenko’s serve in her first service game, which was enough to help Williams take the first set.

Ostapenko dug deep to save break point at 3-3, but Williams ramped up the pressure to score a crucial break for 6-5 in the second set. She held serve to love to seal a 6-3 7-5 win and keep hopes of a first grand slam title in nine years alive.

2015 Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza moved to within two wins away from a second grand slam title, as the Spaniard proved too strong for seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

2016 French Open champion Muguruza followed up on knocking out top seed Angelique Kerber, by putting in another powerful display to reach the final four with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win against her Russian opponent.

The 14th seed saved a tricky break point on her second service game – the only one she faced all match –  and she brought up match point with an ace in the second set, before sealing the win with another big serve to keep hopes of a first Wimbledon title alive.

Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova stands in Murguruza’s way of a place in a second Wimbledon final, as the world number 87 got the better of Coco Vandeweghe to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

Rybarikova – who knocked out  Karolina Pliskova on her way to a dream run at Wimbledon – got the better of her wayward American opponent 6-3 6-3 in a match that was switched to Centre Court after rain halted play at 2-2 in the second set.

In men’s action, fourth seed Novak Djokovic made light work of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino to remain on course for a third Wimbledon title in his delayed last 16 match.

Their match had to be delayed after Rafa Nadal’s near five-hour epic against Gilles Muller on Monday but it did not put off the Serbian, who made no mistake against Mannarino in a  6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 straight sets win.

The was early fitness concerns for the Frenchman as he was broken in his first service game and while he shook off a hip injury to save two set points, he could not find a break of his own to deny Djokovic taking the first set.

Novak Djokovic is unbeaten on grass this season
image: realsport101.com

Djokovic recovered from a double-fault to allow the 29-year-old break him in the second set, as he forced a tie-break which he dominated to move closer to the quarter-finals.

The 12-time grand slam winner did need some medical treatment on a shoulder injury in the third set and doubled faulted on his first match point, but Djokovic fought through the pain to seal a last eight clash against Czech Thomas Berdych.

You can check out more results from day eight at Wimbledon at this link.

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