Johanna Konta fired her way into the quarter-finals (Picture: Getty Images)Johanna Konta booked her spot in the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time, downing Donna Vekic in straight sets.
In sweltering conditions on Suzanne-Lenglen, the British No. 1 produced some fabulous tennis to win her fifth set on the bounce in Paris.
The 6-2 6-4 win in an hour and 24 minutes ensured she is the first British woman to grace the final eight at Roland Garros in 36 years – Jo Durie reached the semi-finals in 1983 – while she will provisionally make a return to the top-20 of the WTA rankings.
Konta will now contest the fourth Grand Slam quarter-final of her career having won two of the previous three but she faces the stiff challenge of a former major winner in the next stage.
Either Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion and a runner-up here last year, or two-time Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, who won her first major in these parts back in 2016, will line up across the net in Tuesday’s last-eight tie. The American and Spaniard will meet later on Sunday in order to determine who will meet Britain’s only remaining singles hopeful.
A beaming Konta said after the match: ‘To be able to win a match like this against a really tough opponent and I felt I played pretty much well throughout the match so I feel very fortunate for the way I played because I knew I had to against Donna. But to win and win in front of a crowd like this gives you goosebumps.
‘We’ve had a number of great battles and I actually lost the last the last two times we played together. It’s the first time we played on clay and I knew that I had the game to beat her but she also has the game to be able to beat me so when I came out here on court, I just really tried to do the best that I can, really keep a good perspective, see the good things I was doing and enjoy playing against a great player.
Donna Vekic was beaten (Picture: Getty Images)Konta played a blinder of a first set.
The 28-year-old broke Vekic three times, striking 15 winners past the Croat and wrapped it up after 41 minutes.
She played the big moments well, saving four set points when attempting to serve it out and only giving away her serve once in her opening service game of the match.
The second set proved a tighter affair, with both looking after their serves for the majority, but when the first break point opportunity presented itself, Konta made no mistake in bursting through the door.
Vondrousova stormed her way through (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)The advantage didn’t last long, Konta failed to convert three game points before being broken in the next game, but some ruthless returning from the Brit ace saw her clinch the decisive break and she made no mistake in serving it out to move 4-3 up in the pair’s head-to-head.
While Konta must wait to learn her next opponent, one women’s quarter-final has already been set.
Czech 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova will meet Croatia’s 31st seed Petra Martic.
Vondrousova was in blistering form as she blew 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova away 6-2 6-0 in under an hour but Martic had to work considerably harder in her 5-7 6-2 6-4 tussle with Kaia Kanepi.