Belfast Telegraph

Konta gives it a lash in the rain to reach last eight in China

By Robert Jones

British number one Johanna Konta secured a place in the quarter-finals of the China Open with a rain-hit 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7/2) victory over Karolina Pliskova in Beijing.

Konta, aiming to force her way into contention for the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month, had moved into a 4-1 lead following an early break against the world number six before the players were taken off the Lotus Court.

The 25-year-old 11th seed, though, picked up where she had left off when back in action, breaking the Czech again before wrapping up the first set in just 27 minutes of action.

Pliskova, however, produced a recovery in the second set, eventually breaking Konta at the seventh attempt in a tight sixth game to lead 4-2 and then closing out her own service to level the contest.

Both players then failed to hold serve in a tense decider, although Konta saved three break points to lead 6-5 before Pliskova forced the tie-break.

It was Konta who remained composed, the Briton making the most of an early mini-break to open up a 4-1 lead, which she pushed home to seal a place in the last eight against either fourth seed Simona Halep or Chinese player Zhang Shuai.

Meanwhile, Tennis investigators are examining whether a match at Wimbledon this year was fixed.

The London-based Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) received an alert regarding one match played at the championships, it was announced.

Its alerts come from regulators and betting organisations, who can report matches if they notice suspicious betting patterns.

The TIU said it received 96 alerts from July to September, of which two came in grand slams, the first at Wimbledon and the second at the US Open. Wimbledon ran from June 27 to July 10.

A TIU statement said: "Both (grand slam alerts) are the subject of routine, confidential investigation by the TIU."

Belfast Telegraph

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