Tennis

Marketa Vondrousova, 19, sets up semi-final clash with Johanna Konta

Marketa Vondrousova's amazing French Open run continued yesterday morning (Singapore time), when the unseeded Czech teenager beat Croatia's Petra Martic 7-6 (7/1), 7-5 to reach the semi-finals.

The 19-year-old left-hander, bidding to become the first teenager to lift the Suzanne Lenglen cup since Iva Majoli in 1997, saved three set-points on her way to winning the opener.

Then she let slip a 5-2 lead in the second set, double-faulting on a match-point at 5-3 as nerves kicked in.

She steadied herself though and broke Martic's serve to set up a semi-final against Britain's Johanna Konta.

"I mean, it's not happening every day, right? I'm just really happy with my game," she said. "And it was very tough match for me. I beat her for my first time in my life, so it's amazing."

Martic had defeated top Czech Karolina Pliskova in the third round, and had beaten Vondrousova in their four previous clashes, but this time found her a much trickier proposition.

But Vondrousova will need a virtuoso performance to defeat Konta, who has been praised by the likes of Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

"Konta right now is probably playing the best I've ever seen her play. I think she's actually better now," said 12-time Major champion King at an International Tennis Federation press conference in Paris yesterday.

"She's really concentrating well and she's hitting so big. Her serve is big, her groundstrokes are big. She's totally focused right now. She just has to stay the way she is."

But Vondrousova remains hopeful of continuing her fairy-tale run. She said: "In the semi-finals I think anything can happen. It's going to be very tough and great match, and I just can't wait to play." - REUTERS

Tennis