Wimbledon 2019: Johanna Konta and Serena Williams through to quarter-finals but Coco Gauff and top seed Ashleigh Barty bow out

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

A review of Monday's action in the women's singles at Wimbledon as Johanna Konta and Serena Williams reached the quarter-finals but Coco Gauff and Ashleigh Barty are out.

Johanna Konta overcame a nervous finish to knock out two-time former champion Petra Kvitova and reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the second time.

The British number one weathered an early storm in a battle of fierce hitting from both players and was on the verge of victory at 5-1 in the final set.

Kvitova fought back with a run of three games in a row, saving two match points, but Konta served it out at the second time of asking to win 4-6 6-2 6-4.

Coupled with her third-round upset of Sloane Stephens, the 19th seed is positioning herself as a real contender for the title, and she will be a strong favourite when she takes on another Czech, unseeded Barbora Strycova, in the last eight on Tuesday.

There had been major doubts about Kvitova's fitness prior to the tournament, with the 29-year-old not having played a match since before the French Open because of a left forearm problem.

She had barely even been able to practise but, having won all of her first three matches in straight sets, it seemed fair to assess that Kvitova was feeling close to 100 per cent.

It certainly looked that way in the early stages as she thumped winner after winner - 11 in the first five games alone. But Konta is a talented ball striker, too, and she stayed with her opponent very well.

In fact it was Konta who had the first openings but, from 4-4 15-40, Kvitova sent down four strong serves to avert the danger.

That left Konta serving to stay in the set, and she could not manage it. She was unfortunate with a net cord that dribbled over but strong play from Kvitova took her to set point, and the home favourite dragged a forehand wide.

But the 28-year-old had come from a set down to beat Stephens and she made the perfect start to the second with a first break of the Kvitova serve.

The key moments came in the next game on Konta's serve, which she finally held after saving two break points.

Kvitova, who had been so assured, was now making an increasingly number of errors and Konta took full advantage to open up a 4-0 lead.

She missed a set point at 5-1 and then took a medical time-out to have strapping applied to her left ankle, but she did not seem concerned by the problem and served out the set with an ace.

Kvitova had won three of their four previous meetings, with Konta's only victory coming in Eastbourne in 2016, but it was the Brit who had the momentum and she struck a series of fierce backhands to break for a 2-1 lead in the decider.

The final one was called out, then shown to be in via HawkEye, and Konta gave umpire Kader Nouni no time to consider replaying the point, striding to her chair.

Konta looked supremely confident, and no wonder given she had won 13 of her last 14 matches that had gone to a deciding set.

A run of five successive games took her to the brink of victory but, serving for the match at 5-2, things became complicated. Two match points came and went and Kvitova retrieved one of the breaks.

When Konta stepped up to serve for the match again, the air of tension around Centre Court was palpable, but this time she made no mistake.

It was business as usual for Serena Williams as she went back to the day job and surged into the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Andy Murray's doubles partner is a pretty handy singles player too, as demonstrated by a dominant victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Williams, who delighted Centre Court alongside Murray on Saturday evening, moved ominously closer to an eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-2 6-2 win.

The 37-year-old, sporting a child's plaster on her left elbow, never looked like coming unstuck against the world number 31.

Two breaks of serve gave her the first set in just 31 minutes, the highlight a stunning flicked backhand across the helpless Suarez Navarro.

Two more breaks at the start of the second put Williams in total control, although Suarez Navarro did at least lay a glove on her with a surprise break to love.

It was only a temporary blip, as Williams broke back before serving out the match to set up a meeting with fellow American Alison Riske, who knocked out world number one and top seed Ashleigh Barty, in the last eight.

Barty had won 15 matches in a row and had not so much as dropped a set since the French Open semi-finals a month ago but Riske played superbly and the 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory was the biggest of her career.

The 29-year-old, who has also knocked out Donna Vekic and Belinda Bencic in a giant-killing run, is through to the quarter-finals of a slam for the first time, where she could face Serena Williams.

Riske told the BBC: "I am so excited. I think ultimately I am so proud of myself for the way I handled myself in this match."

Barty was philosophical afterwards, saying: "I think I started well. I was sticking to how I wanted to play. Then in the second set, I think my serve let me down. I let Alison get back into the match too many times, having looks at second serves.

"Overall I didn't play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better today. Tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player."

On the chance of losing the world number one ranking, Barty added: "It's out of my control. We've done absolutely everything. I'm so proud of myself and my team over the last six to eight weeks. We've had an incredible trip, incredible couple of months."

Cori Gauff's fairytale Wimbledon run came to an end at the hands of seventh seed Simona Halep.

The 15-year-old has been the break-out star of the Championships, charming and thrilling SW19 with sensational wins over her idol Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog.

But Romanian counter-puncher Halep, last year's French Open champion, proved too strong for Gauff on Court One, winning 6-3 6-3.

The result should come as no surprise, as 12 months ago Halep was the world number one while Gauff was losing in the quarter-finals of the juniors tournament.

Yet Gauff, known as 'Coco', went toe-to-toe with Halep, again showing no signs of being daunted in such illustrious company.

There were nerves, understandably, and Gauff's serve came under immediate scrutiny with Halep securing a break in the first game.

Gauff broke straight back, then held, and suddenly Halep had the jitters with a double fault, although she too held serve for 2-2.

Break point down, Gauff casually volleyed a winner with all the poise of the seasoned grand-slam winner she was facing.

However, Halep's experience told as she secured another break on her way to wrapping up the first set.

The signs were ominous when Halep went 2-0 up in the second, but yet again Gauff hit back, before asking for a doctor courtside.

If the youngster was feeling unwell she was not showing it, coming from 0-30 to hold for 2-2.

Halep has been there and done it, though, and once again the 27-year-old turned the screw to move 5-2 up.

Although Gauff saved a couple of match points on her serve - one with another nonchalant volley - Halep eventually ensured the American's Wimbledon adventure came to an end, for this year at least.

Eighth seed Elina Svitolina eased past an injured Petra Martic 6-4 6-2, while Shuai Zhang beat Dayana Yastremska 6-4 1-6 6-2.

Barbora Strycova reached the quarter-finals at SW19 for the first time since 2014 with a stunning 4-6 7-5 6-2 comeback victory over Elise Mertens.

Belgian Mertens, seeded 21, was one set and 5-2 ahead in the second but, having struggled with a back problem, lost the next nine games and could not recover.

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