She is the first British woman since Virginia Wade to make it into the semi finals of Wimbledon. Johanna Konta took the long route to the semis, but she did it and breaking the heart of her Romanian opponent and world number 2, Simona
It looked as if it was going to be Halep’s day as she raced to a 3 0 lead in the first set. Konta held firm and fought her way into a tie break. This is when the match really came alive and the hitting became fast and furious. Konta made some school girl tennis errors in the breaker and so did Halep. It was a set that could have gone either way. One of the worst moments came with a drive volley opportunity into an open court, and Konta hit the ball so long it could have landed in the stands. Most of her errors came off the forehand side and the crafty world number 2 capitalized to take the tie break.The second set was painful for Konta supporters (most of the Wimbledon crowd) as 8 break opportunities all went begging curtesy of over hitting by the British number 1. Konta was now trailing 3-1 again, and her expression never changed as the pressure mounted. That’s one of her gifts: she remains calm. It served her well as she wrong footed Halep to get the breaker back on even terms. It’s now 4 4 and a backhand goes long by Konta and Halep now has the lead. However, Halep returned the break immediately and Konta presses home the advantage and takes two successive points to force a final set. The crowd are on their feet.
In the final set Konta broke at 2 2, and never looked back. This wheel of fortune changes for the brave, and now it’s Halep on the run and on the ropes. This is what makes tennis so exciting and unpredictable. Konta is now 5 4 up and serving it out. She didn’t flick an eye lid. Cool, calm and collected konta did just that.
It’s been 39 years since a British woman can claim to be a semi finalist at Wimbledon and there was no celebration. A regal royal wave sealed her victory. I suspect she is conserving her energy. I would, because next up is the formidable Venus Williams.
Sign up for our weekly email