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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tennis Roundup: Konta through to semi-finals; Berdych crashes out

Tennis Roundup: Konta through to semi-finals; Berdych crashes out

June 16, 2017 20:46 IST

Johanna Konta

IMAGE: Johanna Konta of Great Britain plays a forehand. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA

Top seed Johanna Konta overcame a second-set wobble against Australia's Ashleigh Barty to claim a 6-3, 7-5 victory and reach the semi-finals of the Nottingham Open on Friday.

Cheered on by the home crowd the world number eight eased through the first set but fell a break behind in the second before upping her game to avoid a deciding set.

"I only had one little dip but I tried to stay strong. I felt I was able to raise my game," Konta, who will carry Britain's hopes in the Wimbledon women's singles next month, said after reaching the semis without dropping a set.

"It was definitely a nice little comeback," Konta added.

"I worked very hard to get myself back into that second set and stop Ashleigh from running away with it."

Konta won a round at Wimbledon for the first time last year after four opening round defeats but after her rapid rise up the rankings, including the title in Miami this year, she will be expecting a deep run at the All England Club.

She will continue to sharpen her game with a Saturday semi-final in Nottingham against either Magdalena Rybarikova or qualifier Kristie Ahn.

Berdych joins seeds' Stuttgart exodus after defeat to Lopez

Tomas Berdych became the latest seeded player to crash out of the Stuttgart Open on Friday as Spaniard Feliciano Lopez edged past the Czech third seed 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last four.

The Czech world number 14, who has reached only one final so far this year, now joins already-eliminated top seeds Roger Federer and Grigor Dimtrov on the sidelines.

Lopez, ranked 33rd in the world, will now face either 39-year-old veteran Tommy Haas, who beat Federer in the previous round, or Germany's Mischa Zverev, who meet in their quarter-final later on Friday.

The 35-year-old Spaniard bounced back from the first set tiebreak loss, saved several break points on his own serve early in the third set and earned his only break with a superb crosscourt passing shot to go 4-3 up and keep his advantage until the end.

Tsurenko ousts Mladenovic to reach semi-finals in Den Bosch

Second seed Kristina Mladenovic suffered a 6-3, 6-1 quarter-final defeat to Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko at the Den Bosch Open on Friday.

Tsurenko, who improved her career head-to-head to 5-1 against the Frenchwoman, won eight of the last nine games to march into the last four of the Wimbledon warm-up event.

Mladenovic, a 2016 runner-up, struggled during a majority of an hour-long encounter, committing 24 unforced errors, compared to just nine from her opponent's racket.

Tsurenko will meet the winner of the other quarter-final clash between Estonia's Anett Kontaveit and Carina Witthoeft of Germany.

Del Potro facing Wimbledon fitness battle after Queen's withdrawal

Juan Martin del Potro's Wimbledon preparations have been thrown into disarray after the Argentine was forced to pull out of next week's Aegon Championships at Queen's Club with a groin injury.

Former US Open champion Del Potro, ranked 30 in the world after a steady rise up the rankings following a succession of career-threatening wrist injuries, also pulled out of this week's grasscourt event in Den Bosch.

It means the Argentinian faces the prospect of arriving at Wimbledon without any grasscourt matches under his belt.

Queen's, which features world number one and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and world number three Stan Wawrinka, has also lost French Open champion Rafa Nadal after he withdrew to recover after his triumph at Roland Garros.

Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and Briton James Ward have been awarded main draw wildcards.

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