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Johanna Konta lines up home comfort after epic run

By Tom Allnutt

Johanna Konta is looking forward to some time with her family and sleeping in her own bed after the Briton's whirlwind charge to the Australian Open semi-finals in Melbourne.

Konta was bidding to become the first female British grand slam finalist since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon 39 years ago but her hopes were dashed on Thursday as Angelique Kerber sealed a 7-5 6-2 victory.

This was the first year Konta had ever made it into the Australian Open main draw as 12 months ago she lost in the first round of qualifying.

"I don't feel very different,'' said Konta, who is expected to climb into the world's top 30 at the end of the tournament.

"Both times I was looking forward to going home to see my family. I go home to see my parents, spend some time in my own bed. That stays the same.

"It depends what you view as disappointment. I don't live my life and feel my happiness or joy on my wins and losses.''

Konta had been hoping to extend Britain's excellent showing in Melbourne, with Andy Murray playing Novak Djokovic in the final of the singles tomorrow and brother Jamie Murray making it to the doubles final alongside Brazilian Bruno Soares.

Jamie Murray wants to make it third time lucky after he lost with former partner John Peers in the finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

He and Soares, who linked up at the start of this season, will face the experienced duo of Canada's Daniel Nestor and Czech Radek Stepanek today.

"I think I know what to expect,'' Jamie Murray said.

"Obviously I came up on the wrong side the last two times I was in the final but it wasn't like I played bad matches.

"I fully trust myself that I can perform in those matches. I believe Bruno can as well. I think the mentality we've got and the chemistry we seem to have struck up these last couple of weeks will bode well for us.

"We'll give it all we've got. We know it's going to be a tough match.''

Britain has another player into a singles final this weekend after Gordon Reid beat Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 9-7 in the last four of the wheelchair event.

Australian Open finalists Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic could join forces and play on the same European team after the launch of a new Ryder Cup-style tournament was announced.

The Laver Cup, named after Australia's 11-time major champion Rod Laver, will be a three-day event pitting a European team against the rest of the world.

The competition will be held annually, except for Summer Olympic years, and the first edition is set for September 2017.

Laver said: "I can see this becoming a very important part of the experience of being a top global player, with the world's best longing to earn the right to participate and thrive in this style of competition.

"It's so good to see tennis finally develop a proper counterpart event to the Ryder Cup."

Teams will be made up of six players, with four qualifying through results and the other two selected by their team captains.

Matches will feature both singles and doubles ties.

The amount of prize money available will be confirmed later this year but the competition will not qualify as an ATP event and no ranking points will be on offer.

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