Playing in her 53rd main draw at a Grand Slam event, Barbora Strycova advanced to her first major semifinal at Wimbledon with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory over Johanna Konta on Tuesday. Strycova will face off against 37-time Grand Slam semifinalist Serena Williams, a seven-time winner at the All England Club, on Thursday.
"When I'm thinking about it and talking about it right now, I am very proud about myself and about what I achieved, but I'm still in the draw. The excitement comes after I am done here," said Strycova.
Twenty minutes into the last quarterfinal match of the day, the British crowd was on their feet as Konta stormed ahead to win four of five games in the beginning of the first set. It looked as if the 33-year-old Strycova was no match for the British No. 1. Konta was striking clean winners from all angles and dominated with her lethal backhand. Then, in a twist of fate, Konta completely lost her nerve, and her forehand.
Down 4-1, 30-30, Strycova secured her service game with an incredible diving stab volley. This one shot seemed to lift the Czech’s spirit while simultaneously sending Konta into an unforced error frenzy. Strycova went on to win the first set in a tiebreaker, assisted by a several of Konta’s 19 forehand unforced errors.
With the first set in hand, Strycova sprinted to the finish line behind a near perfect set of tennis, striking 11 winners and just three errors in the final set to set the last four clash with Williams. The American is yet to drop a set in her three wins over Strycova, with all of their meetings coming on the Grand Slam stage.
"I don't have fear. I just will go there Thursday and I will try to play my game. Of course, I don't have such power like Serena, but I have [other] weapons. I will try to use them as much as I can. I will enjoy [it]. I have really at this point nothing to lose."