Johanna Konta, Great Britain’s top female tennis player, has continued her great run at the China Open, and is now through to the semi-finals of the event. She comprehensively defeated home favourite and world number 36 Zhang Shuai in her quarter-final match, following up an impressive win against Karolina Pliskova in the previous round.
Konta will now play Madison Keys, the world number nine, in the semi-finals of the competition, in what will be a tough test of her abilities. The further Konta gets in the tournament, the better her chances will be of reaching the WTA Finals in Singapore at the end of the season, which is open to the top eight players in the world. She is guaranteed to rise to at least 10th in the world, thanks to her semi-final run, and could increase this ranking even higher by advancing further and doing well in next week’s Hong Kong Open.
The match against Zhang certainly didn’t start well for Konta, as she immediately found herself 4-0 down in the first set. Such is the quality of Konta nowadays though that she didn’t let the poor start get to her, and instead powered back to win the set 6-4. In fact, Konta didn’t drop a single game after going 4-0 down, eventually winning the match easily by a score of 6-4 6-0. The result was made even more impressive by the fact that Zhang received huge support from the partisan home crowd.
Now Konta will face Madison Keys and, should she manage to win that match, will face either Elina Svitolina, Agnieszka Radwanska or Yaroslava Shvedova, with the latter two players yet to play their quarter-final match. Winning the tournament would see her emulating some of the world’s great names, such as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
Andy Murray is also still in action at the China Open, after he eliminated compatriot Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals, ensuring that the world number two is now in the semi-finals. He won in straight sets, although had to come through a long tie-break to win the first, winning the match by a score of 7-6 (11-9) 6-2. Murray will now face Spain’s David Ferrer in the semi-finals, while Edmund’s progress in the tournament will mean that he rises into the world’s top 50 players.
The other side of the draw in the men’s tournament has not seen any of the quarter-finals played, so should Murray make the final, he could play Rafael Nadal, Gregor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic or Pablo Carreno Busta.