Konta reaches French Open fourth round with emphatic win

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2019 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 26 May-9 June
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the French Open last 16 since 1983 after thrashing Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova at Roland Garros.

Konta, 28, continued her fine clay-court season with a 6-2 6-1 late-evening victory at Roland Garros.

Despite suffering sickness this week, the 26th seed broke serve five times to win in 54 minutes.

Konta will play Croatian 24th seed Donna Vekic next.

The Briton had never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros before this week, but now finds herself with a shot at the quarter-finals.

Konta has now reached at least the last 16 in all of the four Grand Slams.

That achievement was secured by a stunning performance against 21-year-old Kuzmova, where she won 80% of the points behind her first serve and hit 20 winners.

Konta showed exactly why she has surged back up the world rankings after a productive clay-court season which has seen her reach the Morocco Open and Italian Open finals, beating Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and Kiki Bertens along the way in Rome.

The Briton would have expected to meet Bertens again in this match, but that did not materialise after the Dutch fourth seed retired from her second-round match against Kuzmova because of illness.

Konta has also been struggling with sickness in Paris, suffering with a blocked nose and sore throat after Wednesday’s win over Lauren Davis.

That match needed strong mental resilience from Konta – this one was much more straightforward.

Kuzmova, ranked 46th in the world, offered little resistance in a first set where Konta rocked her with some pounding first serves and stunning winners.

Konta broke on her way to winning the opening three games and, after a blip when Kuzmova broke back for 3-2, refocused to rattle off the next three games for the set.

Kuzmova’s woes were summed up by a double fault on set point and continued to look edgy in the second set.

With Kuzmova’s body language indicating she was there for the taking, Konta continued to pummel her opponent and conceded just nine points as victory was quickly wrapped up.

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