French Open 2019
Johanna Konta loses to Marketa Vondrousova in semi-final
BBC Online :
Johanna Konta missed out on becoming the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final since 1977 by losing to Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the French Open semi-finals.
The 26th seed's extraordinary run at Roland Garros ended with a 7-5 7-6 (7-2) defeat by the unseeded 19-year-old.
Konta, 28, was unable to convert three first-set points - and paid the price.
Vondrousova will play Australian eighth seed Ashleigh Barty, who beat American Amanda Anisimova, in Saturday's final.
The Czech, who has not dropped a set, is the first teenage finalist at Roland Garros since Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in 2007.
Konta was bidding to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade triumphed at Wimbledon 42 years ago and the first singles player from the nation - man or woman - to win at Roland Garros since Sue Barker in 1976. "It is always tough to lose a match, any match, and always tough to lose matches where you have opportunities and chances," said Konta, who had never won a main-draw match at the Paris venue before this tournament.
But I feel very comfortable and assured that I did the best I could out there.
"It's hard to lose any match like this but my opponent played well and I'm proud of how I played."
Konta was playing in her third Grand Slam semi-final on a third different surface - having reached the last four at the 2016 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017.
The women's draw has been blown wide open over the past fortnight, and the Briton was the only semi-finalist in Paris to have reached this stage of a Slam previously.
Vondrousova is competing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the ninth time, while her furthest previous run at a major was reaching the fourth round at last year's US Open.
However, Konta's greater experience did not tell as tension got the better of the former world number four at crucial moments.
She led 5-3 in both sets before allowing Vondrousova to break back and seize the initiative.
Konta will particularly rue her shot selection on her first chance to seal the opening set, spooning a wild drive-volley long before planting a sliced volley into the net on the second.
Although she did manage to put those mistakes behind her and earn a third chance, that opportunity disappeared as well when Vondrousova put away a forehand winner on her way to a crucial hold.
Konta's confidence sapped as she failed to serve out the opener from 5-4 - and then there was a sense of deja vu when she also failed to serve out from the same position in the second.
A double fault handed over the break - and the momentum - as Vondrousova ran away with the tie-break to seal victory in one hour and 45 minutes.
"I didn't regret anything I did there," Konta said. "I feel comfortable with how I played and what I tried to do. I don't have any regrets."