Great Britain’s Johanna Konta knocked off world number two Simona Halep 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 on Tuesday, becoming the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since Virginia Wade in 1978.
“I definitely felt very clear on what I was trying to achieve out there and regardless of whether it was going my way or not, I felt that I stuck to my true self and just tried to create as many opportunities as possible,” Konta told the BBC after the match. “I knew that she was really not going to give me much for free. I definitely had to be the one out there to make my own chances and I felt I did that—and I feel fortunate that I took a few of them.”
Konta saved match points in the second-set tiebreaker and edged it out to force the match into a deciding third set in front of a raucous Centre Court crowd.
It would be Konta who struck in the third, breaking for a 3-2 lead, and she proceeded to serve out the remainder of the set and the match to book her spot in the final four.
By virtue of her win, she denies Simona Halep a chance at the number one ranking, which now goes to Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova.
Konta moves on to play five-time champion Venus Williams.
Venus knocked off 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-5, snapping the Latvian’s 11-match Grand Slam winning streak, becoming the oldest semifinalist at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
The other semifinal will see 14th seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza take on unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.
Muguruza was the day’s first winner and she outslugged seventh-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
“I’m very happy and very pleased also with this match, because obviously Kuznetsova is a very tough opponent,” said Muguruza. “We all know she has been and is a great player. I managed to play a good level during the match. I earned the victory.”
Rybarikova continued her magical run over the last couple of weeks, stifling American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3.
“I can’t believe it. I really, really can’t believe,” said Rybarikova after her win. “I could never believe I could be in the semifinals before this tournament.”