Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta made it through to the quarter-finals of the AEGON International thanks to a determined 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory against world No.20 Garbine Muguruza on centre court at Devonshire Park.
So far this tournament Konta, ranked 146th in the world, has beaten two top 20 players and this victory came a day after the 24-year-old beat world number eight Ekaterina Makarova - her first win over a player in the world’s top 10.
She is set to face another stern test when she takes on highly-rated Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic on Thursday who has a world ranking of 31.
Konta said, “It was a really tough match. She really raised her level and I was happy I was able to hang tough and keep being there in every point possible and somehow I won in the end.
“In some parts I’m playing some high level tennis and competing with some of the best players on tour. But I always feel there is room for improvement and that’s what keeps me hungry.
“The crowd is a pleasure. My parents are watching in the crowd and it has been a long journey for us and I’m just happy they get to experience moments like this.”
Of her quarter final oponent Bencic, Konta added, “She has improved in the last year and playing some great tennis. She has made the quarter-final of the US Open and has made the top 30.
“I know it will be a very tough match for me but one I’m looking forward to.”
It was a bad day for British No.1 Heather Watson who lost in straight sets against American Sloane Stephens. Last year’s semi-finalist Watson looked jaded following her tough three set win against Elina Svitlina on Tuesday and lost 6-2, 6-3 in one-hour 20 minutes.
Stephens will face either Daria Gavrilova or Sara Errani.
Bencic, 18, advanced after Eugenie Bouchard retired due to abdominal pain.
Seventh seed Bouchard was 6-4 3-0 down when she called for her coach and decided she could not continue.
“I’m going to play at Wimbledon no matter what, even if I’m on one leg,” said the Canadian.
Eastbourne’s 2009 champion Caroline Wozniacki came from a set down to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-1 against another former Eastbourne champion andd two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Woznicki, the number-two seed, will play Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, who beat American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-4, in the last eight.
Agnieszka Radwanska, who won in Eastbourne in 2008, progressed on court one as she enjoyed victory against Karolina Pliskova she won 6-2 6-1 against the eighth-seeded Czech.
Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova also advanced to the quarters following her 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 triumph against Dominika Cibulkova.
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