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  Wuhan Open: Battling Johanna Konta ousts Navarro

Wuhan Open: Battling Johanna Konta ousts Navarro

AFP
Published : Sep 29, 2016, 6:47 am IST
Updated : Sep 29, 2016, 6:47 am IST

Briton Johanna Konta stepped closer to joining the world’s top ten after downing Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in a tight battle to reach the Wuhan Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Johanna Konta (Photo: AFP)
 Johanna Konta (Photo: AFP)

Briton Johanna Konta stepped closer to joining the world’s top ten after downing Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in a tight battle to reach the Wuhan Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Konta won the epic, nearly hour-long first set and was then forced into a tie-break by the Spaniard in the second. Eighth ranked Navarro was on the brink of taking that set when Konta romped through five consecutive points to win the match 7-5, 7-6 (8/6).

The Briton reached the Australian Open semi-final at the start of the year and won her maiden WTA title in July, which saw her rise to 13th in the world.

She is now points away from being the first British woman in a generation to join the ranks of the top ten — and has a chance to qualify for the first time for the eight-player WTA Finals in Singapore. In a veterans’ third round matchup, former world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova beat seven time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the age scale, teenager Daria Kasatkina of Russia fell to 21-year-old American Madison Keys.

Dizzy Halep in quarters Keys will meet fourth seed Simona Halep in the last eight after she defeated Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, despite being knocked dizzy and forced to retire from a doubles match a day earlier.

The Romanian world no. 5 beat Shvedova 6-3, 6-3 before detailing the heavy blow from a ball which left her with bruising to her head.

Halep was struck by a shot fired from the baseline by her doubles partner Jelena Ostapenko, before retiring from the match on Tuesday evening.

“She hit me with the ball, like 150 kilometres (90 miles) per hour. I was dizzy in the first moment, but then was much better,” Halep said.

Halep said she was cleared by doctors to play, and will meet American number nine Madison Keys in the last eight on Thursday. Concussions in tennis are rare — but they do happen.

Location: China, Hubei, Wuhan