AEGON International Thursday round-up: Konta halted by Bencic but Wozniacki and Radwanska advance

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Johanna Konta’s brave run at the AEGON International came to an end at the quarter-final stage as she was knocked out by talented Swiss teenager Belinda Benic in three sets.

Konta, who had previously beaten a top 10 and a top 20 player, took the first set on centre court at Devonshire Park but went down 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 to the world number 31.

The British No.2 had been stuggling with illness and was taking anti-biotics throughout the week.

At the start of the third set she called for a medic and received on court attention.

“My energy levels got very depleted,” Konta said. “I just wanted to check that I wasn’t going to faint out there because that would have been embarrassing. But I wanted to see if I was doing everything possible to give myself the best chance to do well.

“I’m glad I stuck out there and credit to Belinda as she really upped her level when she needed to.”

Konta, ranked 146, will hope to continue her fine grasscourt form as she received a wildcard into Wimbledon next week.

“It’s another opporunity to do what I love and that’s play tennis.

“I hope I can do well and enjoy it. I’m happy I played four great matches here that gives me some momentum. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the next time I step out on court and I’m lucky enough that will be at Wimbledon.”

Bencic, who at 18-years-old is the youngest player in the draw, has already knocked out defending champion Madison keys and will face 2009 champion Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-final on Friday.

Wozniacki, the number-two seed, beat Angrea Petkovic, of Germany 7-5-6-1 to advance to the last four.

Wozniacki said, “I have played well the whole week. I am happy with my form and pleased to be through to the semi-final. I’m excited to be here and I know Belinda is going to be a very tough match.

American Sloane Stephens, who beat Heather Watson in straight sets on Wednesday, walked into the semi-final after her opponent Daria Gavrilova pulled out with abdominal pain. Stephens, ranked 43rd in the world, will face former Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska who eased past Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-2 in her quarter-final.