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Konta conquers RG champ Ostapenko in Eastbourne epic

EASTBOURNE, Great Britain - No.5 seed Johanna Konta won the final four games of a thrilling encounter with reigning French Open champion and No.10 seed Jelena Ostapenko, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 to win the first of two matches on Thursday at the Aegon International.

"I'm obviously very happy to have come through a match like that," Konta said after the match. "Jelena's playing some incredible tennis, and it can be hard to accept having so little say in points. I really just tried to stick to my gameplan; I felt I was playing the right way, and so I kept working hard to create my chances."

British No.1 Johanna Konta rallied from a break down in the deciding set to snap Jelena Ostapenko's eight-match winning streak and book a quarterfinal encounter with World No.1 Angelique Kerber later on today.
With two straight days of stormy weather impacting the schedule, it was always going to be a long day for the British No.1, who will play top-ranked Angelique Kerber in a matter of hours in an upcoming quarterfinal clash.

But Ostapenko ensured Konta would be out on court as long as possible as the Latvian aimed to win a ninth straight match following a three-set win over Carla Suárez Navarro on Monday. Up an early break in the opening set, Ostapenko saw her lead disappear but rebounded in the second and third, leveling the match and winning three straight games in the decider.

Konta's grass court season began almost immediately after the French Open, finishing runner-up at the Aegon Open in Nottingham; that experience appeared to pay off as today's match drew to a closer. Battling back from a break down, the Brit held from 0-30 down in the eighth game to get within a game of the win.

The No.5 seed withstood some fearless hitting from Ostapenko on her first two match points and saved a break point to ultimately clinch victory after two hours and 18 minutes on court.

It was a high-quality display from both players, who each finished with a positive differential of winners to unfoced errors. Konta struck six fewer winners (38 to 32), but also made four fewer errors (32 to 28). Konta's serve proved most crucial, hitting nine aces to Ostapenko's four.

Kerber looms next for Konta in a match-up Simona Halep would be watching intently were she not set to take on former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki on Centre Court. Should Konta beat Kerber, Halep could wrest the No.1 ranking from the German by reaching the final in Eastbourne.

"I'm happy to come through this round, and the next one presents a completely different challenge. Angie's a completely different player, and so I'm goint to prepare as best I can for my next opponent. I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to play her again; I haven't beaten her yet, so I will try this afternoon!'

Source: http://www.wtatennis.com/news/konta-defeats-2017-french-open-champion-ostapenko-world-no1-kerber-next-aegon-international-eastbourne

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