LONDON, Great Britain - In a battle between the British No.1 and the American No.1, it was home hope Johanna Konta who emerged victorious against Sloane Stephens to move into the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Konta, the last British player left standing in the women’s draw, had to come back from a set down against former US Open champion Stephens, needing over two hours to seal the 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
It was the pair’s fourth meeting of the year, and Konta extended her dominance in their rivalry with a fourth victory over Stephens.
The pair started out evenly matched for most of the first set of their Court No.1 clash, with just one break point on offer during the entire set. It was Konta who blinked first, falling behind in her fourth service game as Stephens applied the pressure, and the American broke for a 5-3 lead.
Konta faced an uphill battle at the start of the second set as she had to fight off four break points across two games - she held off one for 2-1 and then had to dodge three more in a marathon game to hold for 3-2.
Edging past that lengthy fifth game seemed to galvanize Konta, and she raised her level against Stephens. She stepped inside the court and took the ball early to finally earn the lone break of the set to close it out, 6-4.
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The Brit kept her momentum going strong in the final set, starting off with a quick break to lead 3-0. As Stephens’ unforced error count grew, so did Konta’s confidence, and a final break at 5-1 sealed the match for the No.19 seed.
Up next, Konta will take on another Grand Slam champion in the fourth round as she brings up a clash against No.6 Petra Kvitova, two-time Wimbledon champion. Kvitova eased past Magda Linette, 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day to advance.