Konta finding form on grass

Published by Leigh Rogers

Johanna Konta in her Nottingham quarterfinal victory over Ashleigh Barty; Getty Images

Brit Johanna Konta has survived a test in the Nottingham quarterfinals to keep her hopes of winning a first WTA title on home soil alive.

The top seed defeated Australian grasscourt threat Ashleigh Barty 6-3 7-5 in a 90-minute battle, recovering from a break down in the second set to win five of the final six games.

“With each match I’m playing, I’m able to get my footing that much surer on the grass,” Konta told wtatennis.com. “I’m really looking to just keep competing well, and execute my game plan as much as I can.”

Konta, who is into her first Nottingham semifinal, next plays Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova.

Rybarikova, the world No.117 on the comeback from a seven-month injury lay-off, is on an eight-match winning streak after winning an ITF tournament on her favourite grass surface last week.

Rybarikova defeated American qualifier Kristie Ahn 6-4 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

The other semifinal features Czech Lucie Safarova and Croatian Donna Vekic.

Safarova, who won the French Open women’s doubles title last week, survived a three-set battle with Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3 0-6 6-4.

Vekic was a 6-2 6-3 victor over Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals.

Mladenovic stunned in s-Hertogenbosch

Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic has crashed out of the WTA event in s-Hertogenbosch, with the second seed beaten by Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko in the quarterfinals.

The seventh-seeded Tsurenko recorded a 6-3 6-1 win in 62 minutes, setting up a semifinal clash with in-form Estonian Anett Kontaveit.

Croatian Ana Konjuh saved five match points to also reach the semifinals, overcoming Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(10) in an epic two hour, 35 minute battle.

The No.33-ranked 19-year-old next faces rising Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva, a 20-year-old who beat local hope Aranxta Rus 6-3 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

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