Johanna Konta pulled off the biggest upset of the Wuhan Open on Wednesday night by stunning the No.1 seed Simona Halep, securing the quarterfinal spot.
It’s been a breakthrough few months for Konta after leaving the grass court season ranked outside the top 100. As a qualifier, she made it all the way to the fourth round of the US Open. She came into Wuhan this week.
Konta looked like a world-beater against the No. 2-ranked Halep, racing through the first set 6-3.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SIMONA HALEP, Tennis player::
“She came back in the third set excellent. I was close to win. I can take some positive from there. It’s tough to explain what happened. I think she’s a good player. She is going to be higher in the rankings soon. She started already to win tough matches. So it’s good for her. She will be a tough opponent in the future.”
Konta is the first British woman to beat a top 2 player in almost 34 years. The last British woman to achieve the feat was Sue Barker, who beat a No. 2-ranked Tracy Austin at Brighton in October 1981.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JOHANNA KONTA, Tennis player:
“I was happy that I was able to just become a bit more solid. I did knuckle down a bit and just try to really, if anything, make her win it more than anything. I was just really trying to just fight hard every point.”
Awaiting Konta in the quarterfinals will be Venus Williams, who will be playing against each other for the very first time.