Simona Halep, Johanna Konta advance to Wimbledon quarterfinals


Johanna Konta has beaten Simona Halep to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-final in 39 years.

A two-time grand slam bridesmaid, Halep insists her focus is firmly on winning Wimbledon, not the top ranking.

Konta has more than announced herself to the British public during this event, and she now enters just her second Grand Slam semi-final against a player who will be competing in her 10th at Wimbledon alone.

There is an air of confidence in her style of playing, beating her opponents with class. Halep has not lost a single set in Wimbledon 2017 and it would take something special from Konta to even snatch a set.

Venus Williams, the only major champion left in the women's draw, will hope to take one step closer to the Wimbledon title when she plays Croatia's Ana Konjuh first on Centre Court.

The Frenchman is known for his propensity to smash rackets, and said: "Normally when I see my prize money, it's a little bit less than I saw on the paper".

"It's great that she's doing well".

The world No.7 has plenty in her power game that could combat that of Halep's, and this strikes as a match which could end with a pair of tie-breakers and a long third set.

She is smashing records and the next landmark facing her in Grand Slams will be Virginia Wade's 1977 mark - the last British woman to reach a Grand Slam final when she won Wimbledon. They have never played on grass though.

Halep's punishing defensive game continued to make the Brit play an extra shot and she cracked, missing a couple of glorious opportunities after building the points well. Ostapenko plays with a composure beyond her years, but Williams is far more experienced on the big stage. "I just want to go there and win it".

He was twice a break down in the opening set but, after saving two set points, Paire played a terrible tie-break.

Konta was reduced to tears during April's Fed Cup showdown after being verbally abused by Romania captain Ilie Nastase and then the Constanta crowd, while Halep was less than sympathetic and claimed the fans were the innocent party.

The pair have faced off four times in their careers, with honours now even in the head to head record - and Konta was reluctant to play up her chances of reaching a first Wimbledon quarter-final, despite her apparent good form. Today she was a few points from taking over the top ranking before capitulating.

"There are tactical messages but also some mental messages of what I feel is important that day.Five minutes before she goes out on court she repeats the messages back to me".