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Tennis

British number one Johanna Konta beats Venus Williams to claim first WTA Tour title


Johanna Konta holds her title alongside Venus Williams

British number one Johanna Konta won her first WTA Tour title with victory over Venus Williams at the Bank of the West Classic.

Konta was in the first WTA Tour final of her career and will rise to number 14 in the world after this victory.

The 25-year-old had a chance to close out victory in the second set when up by a double break but nerves got the better of her and Williams rallied to take the match into a decider.

However, Konta would not make the same mistake in the third when she earned another double break and served out for a 7-5 5-7 6-2 win.

Konta, in scintillating form to despatch Dominika Cibulkova in her last-four clash and reach her first WTA final, made the stronger start and broke Williams in the third game to open up a 3-1 lead.

She held serve with an ace to go 4-2 ahead and served for the opening set at 5-4 up but a forehand winner from top seed Williams enabled her to get the break back and square it up at 5-5.

But a superb backhand winner from third seed Konta saw her break back immediately and Willimas was wide with a backhand as Konta served out for the set at 7-5.

Konta appeared to be in control of the second set with a double break giving her a 4-1 lead but the former world number one, chasing her 50th career title as if it was her first, reeled off four games in a row to go 5-4 ahead.

Konta stopped the rot after a brief chat with coach Jose-Manuel Garcia to level the set at 5-5 and after Williams comfortably held her serve the Brit served to take the second set into a tie-break.

The pressure told again on Konta as she netted an easy forehand volley to give the American another break point and then hit a forehand wide on the next point to ensure the final went into a decider.

A wild forehand from Williams went long to give Konta the first break of the third set and a 2-1 lead and her 10th ace stretched the lead to 3-1.

A Williams backhand sailed wide to give Konta another break and the opportunity to serve for the match.

Williams saved two match points before a forehand into the net gave Konta her third match point.

This time she was to take advantage as Williams’ return was into the net handing victory to Konta.



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