WTA Tour

Konta breaks into world's top 10

2016-10-08 13:09
Johanna Konta (Getty)

Beijing - Johanna Konta became the first British woman in a generation to break into the top 10 as she booked her spot in the China Open final on Saturday.

The Briton put in a solid performance to advance to the biggest final of her career, beating eighth-ranked American Madison Keys 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4.

After a tight first set, Keys' serve let her down in the tiebreaker but she rallied in the second despite continued pressure from the Briton.

After demanding seven set points from Keys for the second set, Konta stepped up her game in the third, keeping the American on the defensive to take her a step closer to her second season -- and career -- title.

"I don't think she made a lot of unforced errors or gave me a lot of balls to be able to get on the offense," Keys told reporters after the match.

Konta, 25, burst onto the scene at last year's US Open where she reached the round of 16 claiming two top 20 scalps en route.

She has gone up another gear this season, becoming the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 33 years at the Australian Open and reaching the quarter finals at the Rio Olympics.

The win in the Chinese capital is yet another one for the record books: she will be the first British woman to break into the top 10 since Jo Durie in 1984 when the new rankings are released Monday.

Durie, who reached a career high of 5, tweeted her congratulations after the match: "Congrats to @JoKonta91 a fantastic year & thoroughly deserves the Top Ten ranking. More to come I'm sure."

There was a lot on the line for both players as they chase points to qualify for the first time for the eight-player season finale in Singapore.

Konta moves into eighth spot with the semi-final win, while Keys remains in seventh position, but with two weeks to go before the tournament both could be nudged out.

Konta will face either world number three Agnieszka Radwanska - who took the Beijing crown in 2011 - or Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in Sunday's final.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  china open  |  johanna konta  |  tennis

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