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Wimbledon 2017

Konta eyes ultimate prize after latest triumph

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta: faces Venus Williams for a place in women’s singles final at Wimbledon.

Britain’s Johanna Konta stands on the threshold of tennis history after becoming the country’s first women’s Wimbledon semi-finalist since 1978.

The 26-year-old reached the last four in SW19 for the first time in her career courtesy of a stirring 6-7 7-6 6-4 win over Romanian Simona Halep.

Her victory matched the feat achieved by the watching Virginia Wade 39 years ago and the sixth seed is now just two games away from emulating Wade’s 1977 triumph.

“I’ve always believed in my own ability and I’ve always dreamt big,” said Konta, who faces five-time champion Venus Williams in the semi-final on Thursday.

“But I’m much more process orientated, so I don’t give myself too much time to dream. I’m more focused on the work.

“It’s a little bit surreal just because it’s incredible how quickly things go in tennis. So I’m definitely digesting things a little bit.

“I definitely felt very clear on what I was trying to achieve out there and regardless of whether it was going my way or not, I felt that I stuck to my true self and just tried to create as many opportunities as possible.

Second seed Halep would have gone to No. 1 in the world had she defeated Konta, who added: “I knew that she was really not going to give me much for free.

“I definitely had to be the one out there to make my own chances and I felt I did that – and I feel fortunate that I took a few of them.”

Konta has won three of her five previous meetings against 37-year-old Williams and looking ahead to Thursday’s showdown, she said: “I definitely feel age isn’t a factor with Venus.

“She’s a tremendous champion and I feel humbled to share a court with her.”

Williams recorded a win in her 100th singles match at Wimbledon when she defeated French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko.

The American won 6-3 7-5 victory against the 20-year-old Latvian on Centre Court.

Garbine Muguruza reached her second Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-3 6-4 victory over No. 7 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and will play unseeded Magdaléna Rybáriková, a straight-sets victor over Coco Vandeweghe.

Jamie Murray remains on course for his second Wimbledon mixed doubles title, the Scot through to the quarter-finals with partner Martina Hingis after the top seeds defeated Czech duo Roman Jebavy and Lucie Hradecka 6-3 6-4.

Murray won the 2007 crown alongside Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic.

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