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Konta avoids stumble, shocks Kerber in Eastbourne

EASTBOURNE, Great Britain - Johanna Konta won her second match of the day at the Aegon International, knocking out top seed and World No.1 Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-4 after a dramatic finish.

"I'm feeling actually not too bad," she said after taking a fall at the end of the match. "I got checked out and I've got no signs of concussion. That's the most important thing. Just got a bit of a sore head. Just hope to have a chill evening, and I'm sure I'll pull up well tomorrow."

Johanna Konta survived a traumatic
late-match slip to complete the semifinal
line-up at the Aegon International with a
straight set win over World No.1 Angelique Kerber.
Both Konta and Kerber were on double duty after rains canceled matches on Tuesday and Wednesday; Konta was fresh off a three-set thriller against reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko while Kerber eased past Spain's Lara Arruabarrena.

"It was a long day. Not just for myself but for all the players. Played a lot of tennis today. So I'm just happy that I was able to make it two out of two. But most importantly, I felt I competed well in each match, and I played two very different players so I was quite happy with how I adapted, as well."

Despite playing the tougher match, the Brit started quicker with a double break lead, eventually closing out the opening set off her powerful return.

"I'm adapting well. The players that I played today are very different, so I was able to adapt from one match to the next and just keep staying very present and competitive. I'm happy with that."

Kerber was guaranteed to keep the No.1 ranking after Simona Halep's quarterfinal exit earlier in the day, and the German was eager to turn the match around in the second, engineering a break advantage of her own.

Konta rallied back and got within a point of victory when she took a hard fall on her second match point. Following a timeout, the Brit got back on track to win the final two points of the match after an hour and 26 minutes on court.

It was another impressive performance from the Miami Open champion, hitting 32 winners to 20 unforced errors and breaking serve six times in the two set match.

Heading into her third straight major tournament as the top seed, Kerber was upbeat about her form and looked forward to making even more progress at the All England Club>

"I'm feeling good. I had three matches right now before going to Wimbledon. This was my goal, to have matches.

"I will try to make my focus on from tomorrow, just only on Wimbledon, trying to improving from this week into the next few weeks."

Joining fellow Brit Heather Watson in the semifinals, it will the first time two British women are in a WTA semifinal since 1985, when Jo Durie and Annabel Croft made the final four in Brighton.

"I think it's great and also great for Heather. She's a great player. I don't think there is any doubt in that. So it's great that there are two Brits in the semis and the crowd tomorrow get to watch two Brits back to back."

Konta will next face No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova for a spot in the championship match; she could become the first British finalist since Virginia Wade reached the final in 1976.

"I played her in the semis last year and I have had many tough battles again against her. I know that going into tomorrow it will be very much the same story. I'm looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to playing against her."

Source: http://www.wtatennis.com/news/konta-avoids-stumble-shocks-kerber-eastbourne

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