French Open 2019: Konta reaches first ever QF in Paris with straight sets run over Vekic
Johanna Konta rolled past Donna Vekic to make her first ever quarterfinal at the French Open 2019 on Sunday. The surging Brit brought her best to Court Suzanne-Lenglen to defeat her Croatian rival in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 at Roland Garros. This marks the third Major in her career where she has managed to get into the round of eight.
The two had played each other six times before this, with Vekic levelling the head-to-head in Acapulco with a straight sets win. Both had good victories going into this encounter in Paris, with Vekic knocking out Belinda Bencic on Friday.
Konta made a quick start to the match and gained a break point with a winner to steal the first game from the 23rd seed. Vekic broke back by winning an eight-shot rally, but Konta eked out one more break before consolidating it to get the lead.
After the sixth game where both exchanged comfortable service holds, the British number one scratched out another break to take a 5-2 lead and serve for the set.
It didn't come easy as Konta fell behind early, but she scored a winner to force deuce. After five break points, Konta got to her first set point and then hammered down a third ace which give her the victory in 39 minutes.
Despite facing problems with her second serve, the first did all the work for Konta to beat down the 22-year-old. Losing seven of eight break points didn’t help Vekic's efforts, while she faced 15 winners.
Knowing that her level of performance had to improve quickly, the Croatian opened the second set by securing her serve in the first game while allowing her opponent a single point. Konta followed suit and stayed on Vekic’s heels through six games.
Showing impressive control, the 27-year-old launched another assault to edge ahead. Another winner came to her aid in the next game, but she was broken back in the eighth for Vekic to level.
Konta soon got another break though, which allowed her to serve for the match. Securing three match points, the world number 23 put together one last strong ponit to shut down her rival in straight sets after 1 hour and 24 minutes.
“To be able to win a match like this against a very tough opponent, I thought I played pretty much well throughout the match,” Konta said during her on court interview. “I felt very fortunate for the way I played because I knew I had to against Donna. To win in front of a crowd like this gives you goosebumps.”
She’ll get another chance to do more when she takes on Garbine Muguruza or Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.