Britain’s Johanna Konta is out of Wimbledon after a stunning performance by underdog Barbora Strycova on Centre Court this afternoon.
The world number 54 trailed 4-1 in the first set, when Konta seemed to be breezing to another semi-final.
But Strycova broke back to make it 4-3 and then took the tiebreak.
Konta had trailed before in this tournament, to both Sloane Stephens in round three and Petra Kvitova yesterday in round four, but this time she could not find the extra gears needed to come back, and Strycova took the second set 6-1 to set up her first grand slam semi-final, against none other than Serena Williams.
In Centre Court’s first match of the day, seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams made it to her 12th semi-final at the All-England Club with victory over Alison Riske.
Riske, who had beaten world number one Ashleigh Barty on Court 2 yesterday, broke Williams’ serve to go 3-1 up in the first set, but Williams broke back immediately.
There were two more breaks in the first set before Williams broke again, and held her nerve to take it 6-4.
But Riske is nothing if not gutsy, and she fought back well in the second set, breaking Williams to make it 5-4, then holding her own serve for one set all.
The players exchanged breaks of serve again in the decider, before Williams made the decisive break in the penultimate game, then served out the match.
After the match Williams said: “I wouldn’t have won that match a couple of weeks ago, she was playing so great.
“It’s a long arduous road, it’s not easy. I’m so pumped.
“I just needed to just fight. Alison, I mean, she played great throughout the whole tournament.
“She’s beaten so many amazing players, players that have had great years. She was not giving it to me. I needed to step up and take it. That’s what I had to do.”
Former world No.1 Simona Halep fought back from 4-1 down in the first set against against China’s Zhang Shuai before winning 7-6 6-1.
Halep said: “I have expected her to play so well. She beat me the last two times that we played. I was a little bit nervous before the match, a little bit stressed.
“I knew that she’s going to come and hit the balls very strong. Also when she hits them, the ball doesn’t bounce that much. It’s really tough to return.
“But I kept fighting. I knew that I have to be 100 per cent for every ball, then I will break her rhythm a little bit. It happened in the second set.”
In the other quarter-final Elina Svitolina beat Karolina Muchova 7-5, 6-4.
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