French Open: Johanna Konta defeats Sloane Stephens, becomes 1st British woman in semis since 1983

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor
Britain's <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1211274/" data-ylk="slk:Johanna Konta">Johanna Konta</a> serves against <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1121050/" data-ylk="slk:Sloane Stephens">Sloane Stephens</a> in her quarterfinal victory at the French Open. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Britain's Johanna Konta serves against Sloane Stephens in her quarterfinal victory at the French Open. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Sloane Stephens, the 2018 French Open runner-up, is out of the 2019 tournament in the quarterfinals after a straight-sets loss to Johanna Konta, 6-1, 6-4.

Konta is the first British woman to reach the semifinals since 1983 when Jo Durie did it. It’s Konta’s third Slam semifinal, but her first at Roland-Garros where she had never won a main-draw match until this year.

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Konta’s serve too much for Stephens

Stephens, who lost to Simona Halep in the 2018 final, is the latest top-ranked woman to fall on clay this tournament. She’s ranked seventh in the world while Konta is 26th.

It’s the third time in three meetings Konta has defeated Stephens and all those came in 2019, per the Associated Press.

Konta, 28, used her max-109 mph serve to give the 26-year-old Stephens trouble, winning on the first serve 86 percent of the time. She broke serve three times and lost only 13 points on it while the two dealt with windy conditions during the 71-minute match. Konta dropped one point on her serve in the second set and it was on a double-fault.

Konta told ITV, via BBC Sports:

"It was a great performance. I was really pleased with the level I played. I accepted my opponent could raise her level and knew it was going to be difficult. I'm just really pleased.

"I am just so pleased with each match I've been building, not just here but in the tournaments proceeding. Overall I am really enjoying my tennis."

Konta reached the semifinals on three different surfaces: the 2016 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon and now the 2019 French Open. Her highest finish at the U.S. Open is the fourth round in 2015 and 2016.

A spot in the final would make her the first British woman to reach it in 43 years.

She’ll face either Croatia’s Petra Martic, seeded 31st, or Marketa Vondrousova, the 19-year-old unseeded Czech player.

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