ROME, Italy – Unseeded Johanna Konta’s career week on clay continued at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, as she ended the winning streak of Madrid champion Kiki Bertens to reach her second final of the season, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
After failing to serve out the opening set and losing the last three games of it to fall behind, the British No.1 scored the decisive break at 5-5 in the second and cruised in the third to score her first Top 5 win in over two years, and reach her second final in three tournaments on clay this year.
The win over the newly-minted World No.4 is Konta’s first over a player ranked World No.5 or better since a dramatic quarterfinal victory over then-World No.2 Simona Halep at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
The two hour, 47-minute victory also puts her into her biggest final since she won the Premier Mandatory Miami Open earlier that same season.
Konta needed four match points to seal a spot in the final, as she made three unforced errors with a 40-0 lead in the match’s final game, but fired off a first-ball forehand winner and a big serve to end the match
Prior to this season, the British No.1 had never before advanced past the quarterfinals of a tour-level event on clay, but looks to win her first title after finishing runner-up to Maria Sakkari at the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem earlier this month.
Konta has a chance for a Sakkari rematch in Sunday’s championship, as she will face either the Greek No.1 or No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova.
More to come…