Johanna Konta completed the perfect week of preparation for Wimbledon by reaching the semi-finals of the WTA Premier event in Eastbourne, UK, securing some hugely impressive victories, including against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, before eventually losing out to Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals.
— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) June 22, 2016
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) June 22, 2016
Konta was the only Brit to get through the first round of the event, and pushed on with great resolve deep into the tournament: despite dropping the first set 7-5 (and squandering a set point) to Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, the Brit rallied and hit back to take the second 6-4 before running away with the third, wrapping up a 5-7 6-4 6-0 victory amidnst 22 break points in total and a first service percentage of 72%.
Konta then maintained her momentum in the quarter-final with a win over world #37 Ekaterina Makarova 7-6(5) 6-4, and looked to have gotten the better of Czech Pliskova in the semi-final after taking the first set on a tiebreak, but Pliskova fought back and won 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 to further improve her head-to-head record against the Brit to 5-0.
Konta will no doubt be pleased at finally securing some back-to-back wins on the grass after underwhelming performances in Birmingham and Nottingham, and will relish the prospect of being seeded in the top 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time as Wimbledon kicks off tomorrow.
In the Men’s draw, Dan Evans’ indifferent form on grass continued after a last-16 defeat to second seed Pablo Cuevas of Argentina at the ATP 250 event in Nottingham. Evans had beaten Liam Broady and 16th seed Ricardas Berankis to reach the last 16, but clay court specialist Cuevas, the world #26, was just about too good for the Brit, who fell 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-4 in a very tightly fought encounter on the grass. The Brit will be even more disappointed given that he led by a set and a break 5-3 in the second set, and was only able to break serve twice from seven windows of opportunity.