Johanna Konta v Venus Williams LIVE at Wimbledon: Latest score and updates from SW19
Johanna Konta will battle Venus Williams for a place in the Wimbledon 2017 women’s singles final
A win for Williams would see her reach a 16 Grand Slam final and a ninth at Wimbledon, while Konta is only playing in her second ever semi-final.
The Brit sole previous appearance in the last four of a major saw her lose in straight sets to eventual champion Angelique Kerber at the 2016 Australian Open.
But Konta will take confidence from the fact that she beat Williams in the second round of that very tournament, one of three wins over the legendary 37-year-old in their five meetings.
Johanna Konta v Venus Williams LIVE – latest Wimbledon updates
(* denotes next to serve)
*Konta 3-4 Williams
Great return from Konta, right at Venus’ feet, earns her 15-30 and then a look a second serve.
But she flies it well beyond the baseline, almost on it too early.
Promising signs for the British No1 but the opportunity break is soon gone and Konta will serve with new balls.
Jack Wilson on Centre Court
“By this stage in the first semi-final, Garbine Muguruza had already wrapped up the set.
“But this one was never going to be straight forward. These two are matching each other blow for blow out there so far.
“‘Terrific entertainment,’ says one fan as he tucks into his second prawn sandwich of the match. Classic Wimbledon. Now could this match be a Wimbledon classic?” [Or Stamford Bridge. But I digress…Ed.]
Konta 3-3 Williams*
Konta would be forgiven for being a little intimidated by the Venus return. Indeed, two consecutive second serves are battered back, one for a winner and other with Williams rushing in behind it.
Konta doesn’t get scared though and just moves on, acing Venus down the middle twice in a row.
*Konta 2-3 Williams
A Venus double-fault and a TERRIFIC cross-court backhand winner give Konta 15-30 but the Williams serve is too good.
The Brit nets a backhand to end the game and we are still on serve with five games gone.
Konta 2-2 Williams*
Big pressure at 30-30 on the Konta serve and then she goes 109mph down the middle. Venus gets a racket on it but it is unreturned. Such a clutch serve.
Still, we end up deuce thanks to a massive return but two excellent serves save her bacon and that’s another gutsy hold.
Jack Wilson on Centre Court
“It may be Wimbledon but it’s not just Konta supporters out here for this one.
“Plenty of shouts of “come on Venus and “we love you Venus” from the Centre Court crowd.
“One gent tries to get a cheap laugh and shouts ‘come on Serena’.
“There is no reaction from his fellow spectators. No time for joking. This is a semi-final.”
*Konta 1-2 Williams
If Venus gets her first serve firing, this will be an uphill battle for Konta.
Venus holds easily again with excellent placement of her first serve.
Johanna Konta is battling to become the first British ladies champion at SW19 since Virginia Wade
Jack Wilson on Centre Court
“Where Muguruza v Rybarakova was the low-quality starter (in entertainment value, at least), Konta v Venus is the five-star Michelin main course on Centre Court.
“The crowd are getting their teeth right into it already. Huge cheers every time their girl cooks up a winner.
“All the early signs are that this could be a good ‘un.”
Konta 1-1 Williams*
Uhoh. Konta double-faults with Venus well inside the baseline which is a worryingly nervy start.
But showing the mental resilience for which she has become well known, Konta battles back from 0-15 and 15-30 to get on the board. Bravo, Jo. Bravo.
*Konta 0-1 Williams
Venus is such a beautifully languid mover that you wouldn’t think she would hit as hard as can but, just as she did in the early moments against Jelena Ostapenko, she is blasting there forehand from the baseline.
Konta has one of her own, a clean winner to get her first point of the match, but Williams holds to 15 without much discomfort.
Jack Wilson on Centre Court
“Centre Court breaks into laughter, cutting through the tension. Venus steps up to serve and gets attacked by some flies.
“She pauses and tries to swat it away with her racquet. Cue more laughs.
“She then flies – every pun intended – through the service game. “
Konta 0-0 Williams*
First set about to start with Venus Williams serving towards the Royal Box. She is delayed momentarily by an insect but we’re going now.
2.50pm: The players are out on court to knock up. A matter of minutes until the action gets underway.
Venus Williams is chasing her sixth Wimbledon crown
2.40pm: It’s difficult to overstate how big this match is for women’s tennis in Britain. Konta is the first woman in a semi-final since 1977 – which as far as I can remember it might as well be 1877.
It was of course Virginia Wade, who went on to win the whole thing.
“The noise erupts. Johanna Konta strides out in front of Venus and Centre Court stands to applaud their new hero.
“She raises her left hand in the air to acknowledge the crowd. Venus, meanwhile, is unmoved.
“Konta may have been born in Australia but she’s very much a Brit, she’s very much one of our own, and she’s one match away from the Wimbledon final.
“Win and she’ll get an open bus parade of Eastbourne (potentially). That’ll be one way to wake the old folk up.”
2.45pm: Quite apart from the two players, there really are a lot of people on court during a Wimbledon match. Nine line judges, six ball boys and the chair umpire, with tens more waiting to rush on in the event of rain or injury.
“The ball boys march out in single file, a little like soldiers with Evian bottles, and are given a huge ovation.
“Crikey. Imagine the roar Konta will get?
“We’re moments away from finding out.”
Johanna Konta battled past Simona Halep to win her Wimbledon quarter-final
Jack Wilson is on Centre Court
“Amazing number of people on Centre Court still trying to find their seats.
“‘We should have come earlier, I can’t believe we missed the whole match,’ says one as she grasps her Pimms.
2.25pm: Well, this is a little unusual. The exceptionally quick nature of that first semi-final appears to have caught the Wimbledon chiefs on the hop a little bit.
Williams and Konta will not now start until 2.45pm. Stay here. I’ll keep you entertained. I’ve got 12 pages of stats to work through. Plus there’s Konta’s blueberry muffin. Really. She loves to bake.
2.15pm: Muguruza wins 6-1, 6-1 and Konta will be imminent now.
2.10pm: In the match notes so kindly provided by the WTA at Wimbledon, Venus Williams’ record at Wimbledon stretches of four sides of A4.
Her first ever opponent here, Magdalena Grzybowska, retired 15 years ago and now works as a pundit on Polish television.
Before last year, Konta had never won a match at Wimbledon.
1.55pm: With Andy Murray having crashed out to Sam Querrey and a hip injury yesterday, Konta is Britain’s last hope in the singles.
The 26-year-old seems to be wearing the tag well but has her work cut out for her against the powerful Williams, who is anything but a stranger to this type of occasion.
First though, we must wait for Garbine Muguruza and Magdalena Rybarikova to finish their semi-final battle on Centre Court and at present, the nervous wait is ongoing.
However, the wait doesn’t look like it will be long. Muguruza has romped to the first set 6-1 and just secured a double break in the second set to lead 3-0.
Konta will be up on her toes in the locker room. She is likely to be in action within half an hour.
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