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Johanna Konta exits as Victoria Azarenka proves just too strong

By Ian Jones

Great Britain number one Johanna Konta is out of the Miami Open after defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals.

Konta, who last week reached her highest singles ranking of number 23 in the world, was beaten in straight sets 6-4 6-2 last night.

She made a strong start to the match, holding to love in her opening couple of service games, before earning the first break point in game six.

However, Azarenka survived the scare and broke Konta in the next game to take control of the opening set.

The Briton had further break points but was unable to take them and Azarenka took her second set point to lead.

The second set was more straightforward for the Belarusian, who after back-to-back breaks raced into a 5-1 advantage.

The world number eight - who won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 - sealed victory with her first match point to set up a semi-final against the winner of Angelique Kerber's match against Madison Keys.

Konta is the first British woman to reach the last eight of the tournament.

The Briton, making her debut in Miami, would have broken into the world top 20 had she reached the final.

Azarenka is on course for back-to-back titles after beating Serena Williams in Indian Wells earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic remains on course for a third successive Miami Open title after booking his place in the quarter-finals.

While a host of other top seeds - including Andy Murray - have either been knocked out or withdrawn from the Masters tournament, Djokovic is making serene progress after a 6-3 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem.

Belfast Telegraph


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