In what must be considered as one of the best Ladies tennis matches ever played, the top British Ladies player and 6th seed, Johanna Konta, produced the match of her career so far in ousting the 2nd seed, Simona Halep of Romania, 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 6-4 in a marathon 2 hours and 38 minutes, in front of a packed Centre Court at Wimbledon today.
Going into the match, there was immense pressure on both players – Simona Halep had lost to Jelena Ostapenko in the French Open final last month and was unable to grab the No. 1 spot from Angelique Kerber. She needed to reach the semi-finals to replace Kerber, who would either relinquish the top spot to her or the 3rd seed, Karolina Pliskova.
Konta was hoping to become the first British woman in 39 years to reach the semi-finals. Virginia Wade, who was in attendance at today’s match, was the last British woman to do so.
Halep had a great start and soon found herself 3-0 and then 4-1 up in the first set. Konta needed some time to calm her nerves, and after settling down, managed to fight back to force a tie-break, which went Halep’s way.
The second set saw a much more confident Konta in action and despite some wild and woolly shots, especially when she was trying to close off games, she managed to force the decider, after winning the tie-break.
Konta left the court at the end of the second set to freshen up and the extended break in concentration did not seem to help Halep, who opted to stay on the court.
The third set went according to serve until the fifth game, when Konta managed to get the break and from thereon, it seemed that despite some classy play by the Romanian, Konta just had the edge and served out the match.
Despite the loss, it was a clinical performance by Halep, who only made nine unforced errors. The difference was Konta’s determination to see this through and with the very vocal British crowd behind her, she got the extra boost that she needed.