(January 25, 2016) Johanna Konta’s Australian Open run continued on Monday, when the world No. 47 came back to knock out 21st seed Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 to reach the quarterfinals. Konta became the first British woman to reach the elite 8 of a major since Jo Durie did it in 1983.
Konta, making her Australian Open debut this year, upset No. 8 Venus Williams in the first round.
The Sydney-born Konta served for the match twice – she was broken at 5-4, but held her nerve and her serve to win 8-6 in the final set.
Konta came into Melbourne ranked 47th in the world.
Konta hit 37 winners in the match.
“Mentally, emotionally, physically…. I left it all out there, ” Konta said in her on-court interview.
“I’m going to eat and sleep, eat and sleep and repeat,” Konta said of her next match.
“I really enjoyed the match for what it was,” Konta told media. “It was a very high-level match against a very, very good player. I took it as such.
“I didn’t put any more on it. It was definitely one of the more spectacular matches I’ve played. There have been a few. I still remember a junior match I played and I lost 12-10 in the third. That’s definitely still in my mind.
“In my adult career it was, yeah, one of the memorable ones.”
Konta will play Shaui Zhang in her quarterfinal.
“I played Zhang a couple of times,” Konta said. “Actually both times were very good matches. I’ve never played Madison before.
“I mean, we’re talking about a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, so whoever I’m going to play it’s going to be an incredibly good player. Right now I’m just looking forward to just recovering well and having a good night’s rest.
“Whoever I’m playing, prepare to the best of my ability.”
“This journey started when I was about eight years old, so we’re coming up to 18 years now,” said the British woman.
“I’ve always said I do not believe in kind of a light switch moment. Everything happens for a reason. My journey has been the way it has been for a reason. That’s to accumulate the experiences that I’ve had.
“I cannot give you a moment where I said, Oh, yeah, that’s where it started, because it’s been ongoing ever since I started playing.”
Shuai Zhang continued her run in Melbourne which began in the qualifying tournament. Zhang defeated a hobbled Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final eighth.
Keys had to take a medical time out in the second set for an upper leg injury which had to be heavily taped. After that, the American’s movement was hampered.
The 133rd-ranked Zhang came into this year’s Australian Open 0-14 in majors.
“It’s so tough to play against someone injury because, yeah, when I’m saw her like feel more pain,” Zhang said. “You know, so tough. Maybe two point you feeling like cannot play, and then next three balls, pong, pong, pong, make two ace, one winner. So, so tough. You don’t know what’s happen.
“And also last year this happen many times. I’m almost win the match. I lost. I lost the concentrate. But this time I think I try to concentrate. So I’m happy I win the match, yeah.”