August 26, 2020
Impressive Jo Konta will play Maria Sakkari for a place in the Western and Southern semi-finals.
Wimbledon fans will be delighted that Konta is back to her best and showing the same form that has thrilled Centre Court so many times in recent years.
How great would it be to see Konta go on another amazing run at Wimbledon 2021 as well?
For now it is Sakkari who stands in her way in New York. Both women are looking increasingly powerful, so it should be a terrific match.
The Greek star surprisingly defeated Serena Williams 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 at Flushing Meadows.
And Konta hit one winner after another to brush aside Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-2.
The British favourite’s sparkling form means she now has a serious chance of winning the tournament.
The Western and Southern title would give Konta tremendous confidence going into the US Open at the same venue.
Sakkari won’t be an easy opponent, even though Serena should really have beaten her.
Williams led 5-3 in the first set when she was unsettled by a rather harsh time violation.
She still took the opener after regaining her composure. And Serena served for the match in the second, but couldn’t close out.
Serena also led the breaker 4-1 before hitting a brick wall just three points short of victory.
She later said she felt like the match was won. But as she should know by now, it isn’t over until it’s over.
Sakkari is in great shape, she didn’t tire at all and clearly relished the fight when the going to tough.
Serena, in stark contrast, was clearly in a state of turmoil as her chances slipped away.
The living legend looked close to tears in the final set as she saved seven match points and also fought off cramp to avoid a dreaded bagel.
But defeat was inevitable by then. And Serena likened her situation to ‘dating a guy you know sucks.’
She will hope for better luck and a more ruthless touch when the US Open starts in New York.
Andy Murray has also been left to focus on the Grand Slam event at Flushing Meadows.
He crashed out of the Western and Southern to a man he beat comfortably in the 2016 Wimbledon final.
Milos Raonic won 6-2, 6-2 against Murray, who looked a little jaded after his stunning win over Alexander Zverev in the previous round.
But Murray knows from this event that he is still capable of hitting the heights we have seen so many times at Wimbledon.
What he must work on now is sustaining that high level throughout a tournament.
When he can do that, we will know that Murray is a serious contender for Wimbledon 2021.
Against the big-serving Raonic, Andy’s serve looked a little tame at times. His forehand also lost its accuracy.
‘It was poor. Didn’t play well,’ Murray said succinctly.
But he will still take confidence from this tournament. To take down Zverev was an awesome achievement.
He is back in the big-time and mixing it with the best of them.
‘The positives are that I got three matches in and held up well physically,’ he explained.
Murray can now rest up, work on a few technical issues, and then come back strong for the US Open.
We can’t wait!