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Konta looking to harness Wimbledon crowds in a bid to win maiden SW19 title

Jo Konta powered her way towards a showdown with Serena Williams on Monday as the American was hit with an £8,000 fine for damaging a championship court at Wimbledon.


Within hours of both players making it through to the quarter-finals, Williams was given the penalty for smashing her racket into the surface on the Saturday before the tournament started.

Williams and Konta are within one victory of facing each other in the semi-finals after winning their fourth rounds, with the British No 1 knocking out two-time champion and world No 6 Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

On Centre Court on Tuesday she will face another Czech, world No 54 Barbora Strycova, and Williams will tackle American surprise package Alison Riske, who knocked out French Open champion Ash Barty on Monday.

Konta is on track to become the first British female singles winner in 42 years and is hoping the Centre Court crowd will get behind her – just as they did in her victory on Monday.

‘They were magnificent. To play in front of a home crowd, you’re always going to be spoilt for support, spoilt for just the energy that they give you,’ she said.

‘I’m really pleased that I got to play an entertaining match for them. That obviously definitely feeds a lot of excitement on court. I enjoy that position to be in.’

Konta is back within range of reaching the world top 10 after a three-month surge that has seen her reach the final of the Italian and the Rabat Open and the semi-final of the French Open.

‘I feel like I’ve been playing great matches throughout the whole season but maybe at the beginning not as many in succession as I would like,’ she said.

‘I think each match – each practice day even – kind of builds on each other. More than anything, I’m just pleased that I’ve been showing up every day. I feel like I’ve come to work every day to grow and to learn and to improve.’

It was a phenomenal 15th win in 17 deciding sets for Konta this season and she said: ‘That’s something I can be really proud of. To know I have the capability to stay there as long as I need to – even if I lose the first set, I know I have every opportunity to get back into the match.

‘Obviously it’s a good feeling to have as a player. It definitely comes with match fitness as well, with playing a lot of them.’

Konta will take nothing for granted against Strycova, saying: ‘She’s a very crafty player. She knows how to mix up the game and she knows how to play on this surface.’

Italian Fabio Fognini was fined £2,400 on Monday night for his comment that he hoped a bomb would explode on Wimbledon. He was fined £11,600 in 2014 for hurling his racket into the court.

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