In-form British No1 Johanna Konta insists she feels ready to take on Serena Williams after setting up an Australian Open clash with the 22-time grand slam winner.
Konta is due to meet Williams in the quarter-finals on Wednesday morning after brushing aside 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday.
Williams is favourite for the women’s crown but world No9 Konta is in the form of her life heading into their first meeting, having won nine matches in a row without dropping a set.
“I believe in the good things that I bring to the court, and I believe in my ability to fight till the very end,” said Sydney-born Konta.
“Now, there’s that and then there’s also an opponent out there, and this one’s going to be Serena Williams. I think it’s about doing what I want to do against her and staying focused on that.”
Konta’s current hot streak brought her the Sydney International title last week, while she has developed a taste for giant-killing in the last year, winning seven of 11 matches with world top-10 opponents.
She added: “I’ve played quite a few grand slam champions and some former world No1s, so I think I have prepared myself as much as possible to play a competitor like Serena.”
Serena a keen Konta watcher
Williams, who despatched 16th seed Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-4, admitted she had been impressed by 25-year-old Konta’s rise from outside the world top 150 just two years ago.
“I have watched her game a lot,” said Williams, 35. “She’s been playing really well. She has a very attacking game. I know her game pretty well and I look forward to it.”
Nadal sees off Monfils
Nadal faces third seed Milos Raonic in the last eight (Source: Getty)
Former men’s champion Rafael Nadal thwarted a comeback from sixth seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to reach a first grand slam quarter-final for 19 months.
Nadal faces third seed Milos Raonic, the highest-ranked player left in the draw, next after the Canadian beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.