NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.8 seed Johanna Konta sealed her spot in the Western & Southern Open semifinals, dispatching No.13 seed Maria Sakkari, 6-4, 6-3.
"Obviously I'm really pleased to have won today," Konta said after the match. "I knew it was going to be a tough match. We have played a lot of great matches in the past, and none of them have been easy and they will never be easy either way."
The British No.1 is rounding into form after a slow start to her 2020 season, reached her second Premier 5 semifinal and knocked out the Greek star in 92 minutes on Grandstand court.
"I think I was able to stay tough at certain bits in the match, which I think helped me edge forward in trying to get a foothold in the match. It was really blustery out there again today. It wasn't easy with the wind and her type of ball, as well.
"Overall just pleased the way I competed. I thought I served again better and better as the match went on, I thought, and just overall I thought it was actually some good tennis out there."
Konta won two of her three meetings with Sakkari in 2019, including their most recent match at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, and hadn't dropped a set en route to the quarterfinals, her first since the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey.
Her 2019 season was one to remember as she finished runner-up at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and made her first Roland Garros semifinal in addition to quarterfinal results at Wimbledon and the US Open.
Sakkari was fresh off one of the biggest wins of her career on this very court, having rallied from the brink of defeat to shock 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams late Tuesday night, and dug out of a 0-40 deficit to kick off the match against Konta.
A close opening set came down to one break of serve, which the Brit ultimately converted in the third game and held on without facing too much resistance on serve, putting down a love service game to take the set.
The second set began with a marathon game on the Sakkari serve, and though the 25-year-old saved two break points early on, she couldn't save a third as Konta edged ahead by a set and 5-3.
Sakkari did all she could to keep things close, holding serve and pushing the No.8 seed on return, holding a pair of break points in the fourth game, but the pressure of serving to stay in the match proved too much.
An errant forehand set up match point for the British No.1, who edged over the finish line after a double fault.
In all, Konta played a cleaner match, hitting 18 winners to 20 unforced errors while striking four aces and breaking serve three times. Sakkari was ultimately undone by 37 unforced errors to 15 winners.
Up next for Konta is former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, who ousted rising Tunisian star Ons Jabeur in straight sets earlier in the day. Konta and Azarenka split their two previous encounters, with the former winning their 2018 Coupe Rogers clash in straight sets.
"In terms of Vika, really looking forward to it, another opportunity to play a Grand Slam champion. We have had some great matches in the past but not for a few years, I don't think. Looking forward to being in a semifinal, which is nice, and playing against another really great player."