British rising star Johanna Konta faces seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams today in China after achieving the biggest win of her career yesterday against world No2 Simona Halep.
Konta continued her blistering form by beating Halep 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open. It was the Australia-born player’s fifth victory over a top-five ranked opponent since June and a 21st win from her last 22 matches.
The 24-year-old will bid to continue that run this morning against Williams, who progressed by beating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets.
Konta’s defeat of last year’s French Open finalist Halep is the latest highlight of what is by some distance her most successful season on the women’s elite tour.
She is certain to overtake Heather Watson as Britain’s highest ranked player and enter the world’s top 50 for the first time on Monday, having started the year at No150.
Konta, who has Hungarian parents and switched allegiance from Australia to Britain in 2012, beat top-10 stars Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova on her way to the US Open last 16 in September.
She beat then-world No8 Ekaterina Makarova at Eastbourne in June and, after a first-round exit at Wimbledon, won back-to-back titles in Canada, at Granby and Vancouver.