Closing out Centre Court’s schedule in what may be prime time in the UK is an intriguing encounter between Johanna Konta and Simona Halep. Halep will finally be the World No.1 if she wins this match while the run of home favourite Konta has delighted the crowds at Wimbledon and would be a great story if the second weekend of the tournament involved at least a finalist in the singles event.
Halep twice came from a break down in the first set on her way to beating Victoria Azarenka in straights. The Belarussian had shown major signs of improvement and was looking like a legitimate contender but Halep dealt with her well. “I’m really pleased with the way I finished the first set. It was very close. I can say that I felt more relaxed, and I just stepped in and I hit stronger.” The second got out of control quickly as Halep went 5-0 up, finally converting her 4th match point for a 7-6 6-2 win. Halep has had the World No.1 in her sights on a number of occasions but can finally grab it with a win in this match after Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova departed the tournament earlier than the Romanian.
Konta showed grit and determination once more to come through a tight three setter on Court 1, this time against Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman fought back to take it three after losing the first set in a tiebreak. Both players were incredibly solid on serve with just one break point opportunity altogether in the decider. That would also double up as a match point which Caroline Garcia kindly gifted to her opponent with a netted unforced error.
“I’ve dreamed of it ever since I was a little girl, to be a Grand Slam champion. But right now I’m in the quarterfinals against an incredibly tough opponent. That’s my next battle. That’s all I’ve got my mind on.” Konta said. The semi finals will be tough for whoever advances still – 5 time Wimbledon champion or the in-form Jelena Ostapenko awaits. Konta and Halep have met twice this year, going 1-1 on slow Miami and Romanian clay surfaces. “She’s very much in form. She’s playing very, very well. I’m looking forward to playing her because, again, she’ll definitely challenge me. I’m really looking forward to playing someone who’s playing such great tennis.” added the World No.6
Prediction – Johanna Konta in three sets