The match of the day saw 2nd seed Simona Halep (ROU) take on 6th seed and home crowd favourite Johanna Konta (GBR). The two had met on the tour a number of times, notably in this year’s Miami Open quarter final which Konta won, and made Halep’s coach walk away from the Romanian. This was the tightest match of the tournament with each game hotly contested and the scoreboard was reflective of that.
After being broken early, Konta fought back in an amazing 3 games to level the score. The Konta serve is on paper a much bigger weapon than Halep’s serve, but the Centre Court roof being closed gave Halep’s serve a little extra pep and evened the contest. The first set inevitably went to a tie break and a few loose shots from Konta saw Halep take it. The second set was much of the same incredible tennis from both players. Long punishing rallies, of the highest quality ball striking, characterised this whole match and yet again the set went to a tie break. This time Konta found all the winners to force a third set. Another notable meeting of the pair had been in the Fed Cup where a Romanian crowd and Ilie Năstase had badgered Konta to the point of tears, so Halep could have no real complaints about the British crowd letting out the odd gasp or cry before the point was over, as Konta pushed forward in the third set. Konta was flawless and Halep lost her belief as the British number 1 broke. Konta served for the match and on match point a woman in the crowd screamed as the 6th seed played her shot, Konta later admitting it had put her off, not as much as it put off Halep as she rolled her shot into the net, ending the match 6-7 7-6 6-4. Halep was magnanimous in defeat and had some positive things to say about her opponent’s chances.
10th seed Venus Williams (USA) awaits in the semi finals for Konta. Five time champion Williams is the oldest player left in the draw and she faced the youngest player left in the draw French Open champion 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko (LAT). Ostapenko has a habit of dropping her level during matches and pulling it back in spectacular fashion, but it was a bridge too far against Williams. Ostapenko threw in a few wild errors to fall behind the Wimbledon veteran, which is a bad place to be as the American has a huge serve. A thorough schooling for the Latvian 6-3 7-5.
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) and 24th seed Coco Vandeweghe (USA) started their quarter final on No.1 Court where the unlikely quarter finalist Rybarikova took the first set 6-3. They were 2-2 in the second set when the rain came, and the pair would have to wait for the Konta-Halep epic battle on Centre court to end before they could complete their match. Rybarikova dealt the final blow 6-3 as a shell-shocked Vandeweghe was left wondering what happened.
Rybarikova will face 14th seed and former finalist Garbine Muguruza (ESP) who was all business against 7th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS). She showed no signs of a hangover from the epic match against the number 1 seed Kerber, despatching the two time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova in straight sets 6-3 6-4.