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Konta is the first Briton to reach semi in Miami Open

By Robert Jones

British number one Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to beat Simona Halep 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 and reach the Miami Open semi-finals. Halep, the tournament's third seed, broke early on in the match in the fourth game to take the opening set, despite Konta saving set points at 5-2 down.

The British number one battled back but was on the verge of being knocked out of the competition when - after breaking Halep in the 10th game of the second set to force a tie-break - she found herself 5-3 down.

However, three points in quick succession swung things back in Konta's favour and she levelled up the encounter 9-7 in the tie-break.

In the deciding set, Konta broke early on and saw off the challenge from Halep to become the first British woman to ever reach the last four at the Miami Open - where she will face top seed Angelique Kerber or Venus Williams.

Halep was hopelessly inconsistent at times against the persistent No 10 seed.

"I was very much in the present. I guess it came down to focusing on breathing and hydrating and not stressing too much," said Konta.

The other semi-final will be between Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova said she fought for the truth so she can end her career on her terms.

The former world number one was initially banned for two years after failing a doping test before having it reduced to 15 months on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sharapova will return to action at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, playing her first match the day after her suspension runs out on April 26.

Sharapova said: "You always want to end your career or a chapter in your life on your terms and in your voice.

"And that's why I fought so hard for the truth to be out," she added.

Belfast Telegraph


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