Konta continues fairytale run in Melbourne

Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:13am EST
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Johanna Konta mounted a stirring comeback to upset Ekaterina Makarova 4-6 6-4 8-6 on Monday in an attritional battle and become the first British woman to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals in more than 30 years.

Konta was followed into the quarter-finals by men's world number two Andy Murray, who beat Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-4 7-6(4), to give Britain their first man and woman in the last eight at a grand slam in almost 40 years.

Sue Barker, Robin Drysdale and John Lloyd reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 1977.

Konta is the first British woman in the last eight at Melbourne since Jo Durie in 1983.

Although she wobbled while serving for the set at 5-4 in the decider, she made no mistake at the second opportunity after three hours, four minutes of graft in Margaret Court Arena and threw her arms skyward in jubilant relief.

"I really enjoyed the match for what it was," she said. "It was a very high-level match against a very, very good player.

"It was definitely one of the more spectacular matches I've played."

Sydney-born Konta, who became a British citizen in 2012, said she had held up well physically after the marathon clash with Makarova and while she joked she was going out to enjoy the Melbourne night life, her immediate plans involved going to bed.

"I actually feel, knock on wood, pretty good," the 24-year-old said.   Continued...

Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato