Williams ends Konta’s Wimbledon run
Originally published on 13/07/17 00:00
The veteran American was at her explosive best as she delivered a masterful performance to end the title hopes of Konta and her supporters. The 37-year-old is the oldest player to reach the final since Martina Navratilova in 1994 and she will challenge Garbine Muguruza for the Venus Rosewater Dish on Saturday.
Williams was overjoyed to have earned another chance to add to her major haul. “I’ve made a lot of finals here,” beamed the former champion. “I could not have asked for more – although one more win would be amazing. It won’t be a given, but I will give it my all.
“I thought the crowd was very nice to me because they were so fair and I know that they love Jo. She gave it her all today, and I thought she handled the pressure well. I thought my experience helped me a lot.
Konta and Williams, two of the best servers in the women’s game, traded blows from the baseline as extended rallies were in short supply during the early stages. It was a high octane first set and there was little to choose between the competitors.
At 4-4, Konta created two break-point opportunities however the American quickly rejected her advances. A forehand winner and a 106mph second-serve helped the five-time winner cling on to her serve and it proved to be a significant passage of play.
Serving to stay in the set, Konta began to make errors. Williams needed no further encouragement and she bagged the all-important opener after her rival miscued a backhand.
Konta had performed well in the first set but she had nothing to show for her endeavours. It was harsh on the Brit, but the American was ruthless.
Williams was untouchable in the second set as she rolled back the years and performed with aggression and panache. Her ability to take the ball on the rise unnerved her opponent and she won six of the last eight games to book her berth in the championship match.
It was a devastating result for the British No.1, but she has once again shown she is a legitimate contender for the biggest prizes in the sport.