Johanna Konta has become the first female British player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since 1984, after beating Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian Open. The 24-year-old continued her fine recent run of form on 25 January to come from a set down to win in three sets (4-6 6-4 8-6) on the Margaret Court Arena.
In a match that was closely contested throughout, Konta had to show plenty of grit and resilience to bounce back after losing the opening set 4-6. The Sydney-born Brit – who has been one of the surprise packages of the tournament – responded to her early setback by taking the second 6-4.
Konta continued to excel into the third set and was serving for the match with the scoreline at 5-4. However, she was broken and forced to wait for her historic victory. But she quickly regained her composure to break her opponent's serve, securing final set 8-6.
"I think it was mentally, emotionally, physically... I left it all out here on court. I ran after every single ball and fought for every single point," Konta said, according to the BBC, after the dramatic match. "It's really about keeping on moving and keeping your mind as quiet as possible, the less thoughts the better."
In beating the 27-year-old Russian, Konta has matched the achievement of Jo Durie, who made it to Wimbledon's last eight 32 years ago. Victory over Makarova – who reached the semi-final stage last year – also represents another significant milestone for Konta, who defeated American superstar Venus Williams in the first round of the tournament.
Meanwhile, fellow Briton Jamie Murray enjoyed a double success at the Australian Open on day eight of the tournament, as he progressed to the reached the last-eight of both the men's doubles and mixed doubles in Melbourne. The 29-year-old left-hander and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares picked up their third consecutive straight-sets win, overcoming Dominic Inglot and Sweden's Robert Lindstedt in impressive style (6-3 6-4).
But in an unusual twist of fate, the duo will find themselves on opposite sides of the net in the next round of the mixed doubles, after Murray and his Slovenian partner Katerina Srebotnik beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah 6-4 6-4.