French Open 2019: Johanna Konta believes she can stay ‘until the very end’ at Roland Garros | CTlive.info - South Africa News

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Johanna Konta is the first British woman to reach the Roland Garros last 16 since Jo Durie, who went on to reach the semi-finals, and Anne Hobbs in 1983
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.

British number one Johanna Konta says she always believes she can stay “until the very end” at a Grand Slam.

Konta, seeded 26th, is the first British woman to reach the French Open last 16 since 1983.

She will play Croatian 23rd seed Donna Vekic for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

“I have been in two Grand Slam semi-finals, so I know the feeling of wanting to go a step further,” the 28-year-old said.

Konta had never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros until this year.

But, after a superb clay-court season where she reached WTA finals in Morocco and Rome, she has continued to build on that form in Paris.

Konta eased past German qualifier Antonia Lottner, then overcame sickness to beat American Lauren Davis before thrashing Slovakia’s Viktoria Kumova.

A semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, Konta has now reached the last 16 at all four of the Grand Slams.

Victory over world number 46 Kuzmova means she has won all six of her third-round matches at the majors.

“There is definitely a habitual part of winning,” Konta said.

“If you get the chance to win matches back to back you are able to draw a lot of things a little easier than if you haven’t had that. I think you trust yourself a bit easier.

“Like I have said over the last number of weeks, I have never doubted my form on clay.

“It’s nice to be able to get some reward for the work I have been doing in general, which I think translates to all surfaces.”

‘You put friendships behind you on court’

Konta will renew her rivalry with 22-year-old Vekic, someone she regards as a friend and who she beat in an enthralling Wimbledon second-round match two years ago.

The Britain won the encounter 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 10-8 in three hours and 10 minutes on Centre Court – although securing victory was not the only memorable moment for Konta.

“I remember the flying ants – I think everybody remembers them that year. I felt like I was part of a David Attenborough documentary,” she joked.

And she added: “It was such a great match to be a part of, and I feel very fortunate to have come out the winning end of that. It was special.”

Konta beat Vekic in the second round of Wimbledon in 2017

Konta and Vekic have equally shared victories from their six previous meetings, although this will be their first match on clay.

“We’ve had plenty of really great battles and, preceding that one at Wimbledon, we had a really good match in the final at Nottingham where she won.

“I’ve lost our last two encounters so I’m really looking forward to playing her again.

“We have practised together quite a few times, she’s probably one of the girls I know more on tour.

“But you put that behind you when you go on court.”

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