TOKYO, Japan - Barbora Strycova got her first win over a Top 10 player in 2017 as she beat Johanna Konta 7-5, 7-6 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
"I'm very happy, because this match meant a lot to me," said Strycova afterwards. "I don't have any words to say because I'm very emotional and very happy that I won against Johanna."
This was the first time the pair had faced off, and it was the fourth seed who was dominant in the early exchanges.
The British No.1 raced to an early 3-0 lead, grabbing the break of serve with some impressive cross-court angles.
As the Czech settled into her game she broke right back to get matters back on serve - but she failed to consolidate, allowing Konta to break once more.
But Strycova was not to be denied, outmaneuvring her opponent and taking the first set 7-5.
Konta regrouped, though, using her backhand to excellent effect, and dominating the Strycova serve.
Yet when she had the opportunity to serve out the second set, the Czech pounced on errors to bring the score back to 5-4, and then held to level matters.
The tenacious Strycova saved set points on her serve, including one with a sizzling ace, forcing a tie-break. The momentum was with her and she battled through to finish off a straight-sets win.
"I tried to focus on every point," explained Strycova. "She's such a tough opponent to play, she doesn't give you anything for free, you hve to work for it."
The Czech will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinal.