Johanna Konta reached tomorrow's Women's Tennis Association's (WTA) final in two sets with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Slovakia's Magdaléna Rybáriková.
Could Konta make further history?
The Brit No. 1’s run throughout this tournament has been one of the standout highlights so far. Her most recent win came yesterday in her quarter-final match against Ashleigh Barty. The Brit comfortably saw off the Australian in two sets, 6-3, 7-5. This has without doubt caused her to grow in confidence throughout the tournament and she has been backed heavily by the Nottingham crowd. They were all very hopeful pre-match that Konta could make history by reaching the final of the AEGON Open in Nottingham. This would no doubt be ideal preparation for her full summer of tennis on grass.
Konta was the pre-match favourite for this match, mainly due to the difference in ranking between her and her opponent, Rybáriková. However, the 28-year-old from Slovakia will have fancied her chances of causing an upset. The pair have met once in the past at the Nottingham tournament. In the Round of 32 in 2015, Konta managed to get the better of Rybáriková with a 6-3, 6-3 win. The Brit would have been hoping for the same outcome this time around.
Brit No. 1 dominates opening set
The opening set of this match was of a high quality. Rybáriková showed what she was capable of in the first game as she sealed it with a cheeky drop shot. It looked like it was going to be a difficult task for Konta as Rybáriková made it 2-1 with a perfect service game.
However, the Brit turned on the style from this point onwards to win five consecutive games and take the opening set. She won the eight game of the set with a perfect service game much to her delight and this saw her take the opening set 6-2.
Rybáriková puts up a fight in second set
Konta got off to a flying start to the second set as she broke Rybáriková's serve in the opening game. However, the Slovakian player responded by breaking herself and then holding to go 2-1 ahead. This led to Konta requesting to see her coach for a bit of inspiration.
The Brit did not take advantage of a break point in the fifth game of the set as Rybáriková held to go 3-2 ahead. This was followed by a stoppage in play as a member of the crowd struggled in what was stifling heat.
When play got back underway, both players contributed to five consecutive holds of serve as it went 5-5. Konta then took control as she broke at the second opportunity to go 6-5 ahead. She then had the opportunity to serve for the match and this was something she took advantage of as she won the match on her second match point as she took the second set 7-5 and the match 2-0.
What next for Konta?
Konta will now come up against Donna Vekic in Sunday’s WTA final at the AEGON Open Nottingham. Vekic managed to beat Lucie Safarova in their marathon semi-final match today. She managed to beat the 2015 French Open finalist 7-6, 3-6, 7-6. It will certainly be an interesting match in tomorrow’s final where Konta will no doubt have the full support of the Centre Court crowd.