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Johanna Konta stuns Kiki Bertens to reach Italian Open final

Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open last week, after almost three hours on the red clay of Rome.

tennis Updated: May 18, 2019 19:38 IST
AFP
AFP
Rome
Johanna Konta,Kiki Bertens,Italian Open
Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates winning her semi final match against Netherlands' Kiki Bertens.(REUTERS)

Britain’s Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to seal victory on her fourth match point against Kiki Bertens to reach the final at the Italian Open on Saturday.

Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open last week, after almost three hours on the red clay of Rome.

Dutchwoman Bertens had advanced to the semi-finals after world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan retired with a hand injury before their match Friday.

Konta next meets either Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova or Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari, who beat the British number one on clay in the final of the Moroccan Open earlier this month.

In the men’s semi-finals, world number one Novak Djokovic plays Argentine Diego Schwartzman after surviving two match points in a thrilling three-set tussle late into the night against Juan Martin del Potro on Friday.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has not dropped a set yet with the eight-time winner setting up a rematch with Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final.

Tsitsipas stunned Nadal in last week’s Madrid Open semi-finals before falling to Djokovic, but lost to the Spaniard in the Australian Open semis earlier this year.

Tsitsipas advanced after Roger Federer -- returning to clay after a two-year absence -- retired with a right leg injury before their clash in the final warm-up before the French Open gets underway at Roland Garros next weekend.

First Published: May 18, 2019 19:38 IST