Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta has got her sights set on breaking more records in British tennis as she booked a semi-final spot at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.
The British number one beat Ashleigh Barty 6-3 7-5 on Friday to edge closer to her first title on home soil and third of an impressive 2017.
If she was able to triumph in Nottingham, having been paired up against Magdalena Rybarikova in the last four, she would become the first British woman to win a WTA tournament in Britain since Virginia Wade was victorious in Eastbourne in 1975.
Konta is known for her refusal to look beyond the next game, but she does admit she is feeling good.
“I am enjoying playing each match, I am getting much surer of my footing on the grass,” she said.
“I am enjoying working hard and executing my game plan with each match that I play.
“That is something that happens with every player, it takes time to get used to a surface.
“I am enjoying each challenge that every match brings, I feel I am problem-solving better and better and I am just trying to really compete as best as I can.”
Konta, who has never got past the quarter-final stage in Nottingham, was in confident mood from the off, breaking her opponent in the third game and then claimed the first set with another break.
The second was nowhere near as comfortable, though, as Barty broke to take a 4-2 lead. Konta, though, regained her stranglehold on the game, winning five of the next six games to close the win out in straight sets, taking it on a fourth match point.
She is expecting a tough encounter against Rybarikova, who, despite being ranked well outside the top 100, won a recent ITF tournament in Surbiton.
“She is a talented and effective player, especially on this surface,” Konta added.
“I know she won in Surbiton so she is coming in with a bit of confidence, so I know that it will be a tough one and I am sure to prepare well.
“Most importantly from my side will be to be competitive and give it my all.”