Crowd favorite Konta roars back to knock off Kvitova at Wimbledon

Crowd favorite Konta roars back to knock off Kvitova at Wimbledon

After losing a close first set, the Brit rallied to secure her second Wimbledon quarterfinal appearance.

On what's become known as Manic Monday, the Centre Court crowd was engaged not only because their hometown star Johanna Konta was playing, but because two big names were showcasing world class tennis. Konta, looking for her first Grand Slam title, rallied to defeat two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the round of 16.

Both Konta and Kvitova started off strong, holding serve without any resistance. However, Konta let two break point opportunities pass at 4-4, allowing Kvitova to run away with the game. Konta gave the Czech a window of opportunity by not finding the box on first serves, making it easier for Kvitova to dictate points on the Brit's second serve. Needing just one break point opportunity, Kvitova executed to win the first set, finishing with 18 winners. 

Konta has demonstrated time and time again that the score doesn't mean anything. Her third-round victory over Sloane Stephens was a testament to her ability to work through problems on the court, and to find ways to win. This match was no different as she quickly posted a double break to surge to 4-0 in the second set. 

Up 5-2 and with the momentum, Konta opted to take a medical timeout to wrap her ankle. The pause in play didn't hinder Konta as she easily held serve to capture the second set. Playing in front of a quiet, tension-filled audience, Konta's sharp shotmaking first made all the noise to draw roars from the crowd.

The Brit was solid in her composure and execution, showing the resolve that propelled her to the semifinals in 2017. At 5-2, the 19th seed displayed a hiccup of nerves by double-faulting and changing her mind with a poor drop shot in favor of an easy forehand finish. It ultimately led her to drop the next two games, as Kvitova forced her opponent to finish the match on her terms once again. 

Shaking off the nerves, Konta held serve to close out the victory in two hours and 25 minutes. The 28-year-old claimed a spot in her fifth major quarterfinal and second at the All England Club. Konta will face off against Barbora Strycova, who matched her best Wimbledon showing with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over 21st seed Elise Mertens. Strycova defeated Konta in their lone prior meeting in Tokyo two years ago.