No.9 seed Johanna Konta eased into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the second straight year, and will next face six-time champion Serena Williams for a spot in the semis.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Johanna Konta won the last five games of a 6-1, 6-4 win over 2015 semifinalist and No.30 seed Johanna Konta to reach the last eight Down Under.

"I was really happy with the level I was able to bring from the very beginning," she said in her post-match press conference. "I think, because of the way I played from the start, I made it difficult for her to get into the match.

"I don't think she did much wrong, but I think I made it difficult for her at the beginning."

The Apia International Sydney came into the match undefeated against Makarova, but their last match in Australia went to 8-6 in the third, setting the stage for a possible blockbuster fourth round on Rod Laver Arena.

The Brit appeared determined not to let that happen, hitting 11 winners and converting both break point chances in the first set race out to a 6-1 lead.

Makarova is a former World No.8 and has tended to have her best results in Melbourne, reaching the second week or better for seven straight years; the Russian tried flipping the script on Konta by breaking her serve for just the second time in the tournament, taking a 4-1 lead in the second set.

"I don't think I did too much wrong there. It was just a slight shift in momentum and she started playing better. I'm happy I was able to then hang in there in that set. I trusted in the system that I was bringing to the court and what I was trying to achieve out there against her.

"I trusted in that, and so, I'm happy to have come through."

Konta took an eight-match winning streak into Monday's match and raced through the rest of the match, serving out the win in one hour and eight minutes behind nine aces and 21 total winners.

Up next for the World No.9 is 22-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who made it into her 10th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal without losing a set after knocking out No.16 seed Barbora Strycova.

"I don't think Serena Williams needs an introduction with everything that she's achieved in this sport and continues to do so," said Konta.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge, and I'm looking forward to being on court, out on court with her and competing against her."