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03.06.2019 Tennis

Vondrousova, Martic and Konta reach last eight at French Open for first time

By Paul Myers - RFI
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
JUN 3, 2019 TENNIS

Marketa Vondrousova swept into the last eight at the French Open on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-0 destruction of Anastasija Sevastova. The unseeded Czech 19-year-old dispatched the 12th seed from Latvia in 59 minutes to reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam event for the first time.

She will play another Grand Slam quarter-final debutante Petra Martic. The 31st seed came from a set down to beat Kaia Kanepi from Estonia 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 after two hours and 12 minutes on centre court.

Johanna Konta's remarkable run at the French Open continued on Sunday. The 28-year-old from Britain had never won a match in Paris in her four previous visits. But the 26th seed claimed her fourth in 2019 with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the 23rd seed Donna Vekic.

"I feel very fortunate'to be able to win a match like that against a tough opponent in front of a crowd like this," she told the on-court interviewer Marion Bartoli. "It gives you goose bumps."

Confident
Konta started impressively against Vekic who had won their last two encounters. But those clashes were on hard courts in Tokyo and Acapulco. The fourth round at Roland Garros was their first meeting on clay and Konta started impressively.

She secured a double break in the opening set and claimed it 6-2 in 39 minutes with her third ace.

Konta broke to lead 4-3 in the second set but from 40-15 she allowed Vekic to claw her way back into the game to level at deuce. Konta fluffed another chance to extend her lead to 5-3 before being reeled in. Vekic exploited her first break point of the set to level at 4-4.

But the Croatian mirrored Konta's munificence with an equally shaky service game. She coughed up three break points and though she saved two, a Konta backhand drop shot yielded the break and the chance to serve for the match at 5-4. She closed out confidently without dropping a point.

"We've had a number of great battles," added Konta. "But this was our first on clay. She beat me the last two times we played so I tried to remember the good things I did in those matches and keep my perspective."

Konta will play either last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens or the 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza for a place in the semi-final.

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