The Best of the Day preview blasts a forehand down the line with Wimbledon tips for the competing fairytales of Johanna Konta and Barbora Strycova in the ladies’ quarters.
23:00 (AEST) @ All England Club, London
History: Played 1: Strycova 1 V Konta 0
Last meeting: Tokyo Open, 2017 (R16): Strycova d Konta 7-5 7-6
Final Thoughts: The Best of the Day preview follows Johanna Konta’s bid to break Britain’s 42-year Wimbledon ladies’ drought.
No British woman has saluted at Wimbledon – or any grand slam tournament – since Virginia Wade in 1977.
🇬🇧 Konta beats Kvitova!!! 🎾@JohannaKonta takes out a second successive top-ten seed with another gutsy comeback victory, this time against Petra Kvitova
— Team GB (@TeamGB) July 8, 2019
Hopes of a nation
Sydney-born Konta has toppled some big names to reach the final eight.
She beat Ana Bogdan and Katerina Siniakova in straight sets in the first two rounds. The 19th seed then came from a set down to upset top-10 guns Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova.
Flying the flag 🇬🇧@JohannaKonta fights back from a set down for the second match in a row to progress to her second #Wimbledon quarter-final, defeating two-time champion Petra Kvitova pic.twitter.com/UC4IxYpDAO
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2019
Konta is a three-time grand slam semi-finalist.
She made a breakout run to the final four of the 2016 Australian Open, sent home fans into raptures by reaching the semis of Wimbledon in 2017, and made a surprise semi-final charge at the recent French Open.
Veteran defies the odds
The 28-year-old made earlier-than-expected exits at the Birmingham Classic and Eastbourne International. But she has found top form at the All England Club.
Standing in the way of a British fairytale is world No.54 Barbora Strycova.
— Phil (@tennis_phil) July 8, 2019
The 33-year-old Czech has eliminated three seeded players on her way to the quarters: Lauren Tsurenko (No.32), Kiki Bertens (No.4) and Elise Mertens (No.21).
Strycova came form a set down – the only set she has lost in this Wimbledon campaign – to beat Mertens in the fourth round.
This equals Strycova’s best previous effort at a grand slam, her quarter-final run at Wimbledon in 2014. Few anticipated this charge after she dipped out in the first round of the Australian and French Opens earlier this year.
The veteran did reach the semis of the Birmingham Classic, however, before losing to Ash Barty.
Strycova won her only previous clash with Konta, prevailing in two hard-fought sets in Tokyo two years ago.
Expect the rabid home crowd support to prove the difference. But Konta is likely to be pushed all the way by the wily, in-form Strycova in a Best of the Day thriller.