Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta is two wins away from reaching the final in Melbourne. Getty

Johanna Konta and Zhang Shuai meet for a place in the last four at the Australian Open on Wednesday 27 January.

Where to watch

Konta vs Shuai starts at midnight GMT on Wednesday 27 January. Coverage is available via Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 1HD, while live updates and reaction will also be available through the Australian Open's official website.


Last year, Johanna Konta's Australian Open campaign was over before it had even begun. Then ranked 144<sup>th in the world, the Sydney-born Briton left Melbourne after a straight sets defeat in the first round of qualifying. A year later and she is on the brink of history. Taking the court at the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, the 24-year-old will be the first British woman to take part in grand slam quarter-final in 32 years.

Konta will be guaranteed a new rank of at least 32 in the world by the time the first major of the year comes to a close, but her sublime campaign so far suggests her expectations now exceed that. Victory over seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams got the fairy tale run off and running, while Zheng Saisai and Denisa Allertova also fell to her. It wasn't until her fourth round match against Ekaterina Makarova did she drop a set in Melbourne, but Konta held her nerve to seal a 8-6 win in a decisive tie-break.

Zhang's story is just as remarkable as her opponent's. Having previously failed to win a single grand slam match, the world number 133 was mulling over retirement ahead of the start of the competition after a woeful 2015. Those plans were put on hold when she secured a stunning straight sets win over world no. 2 Simona Halep, before eliminating Alize Cornet and Vavara Lepchenko. World number 15 Madison Keys threatened to halt her progress, but a leg injury ensured the American was not at her best in their fourth round meeting. Zhang took full advantage, recovering after dropping the first set to win 3-6 6-3 6-3.

The winner of their contest can look forward to a semi-final showdown with seventh seed Angelique Kerver or 14th seed Victoria Azarenka.

Zhang Shuai
Zhang Shuai defeated American Madison Keys to reach this stage. Getty

What the players say

Konta: "I think Shuai Zhang is actually on a bit more of an incredible journey than myself. She won her first main draw match at a slam. I think that's an incredibly special moment. I played Zhang a couple of times. Actually both times were very good matches.

"We're talking about a quarter-final of a grand slam, so whoever I'm going to play it's going to be an incredibly good player. Right now I'm just looking forward to just recovering well and having a good night's rest."

Zhang: "I don't have time to think about the next match because I'm so tired right now. We have played a few times and sometimes practice together. We know each other very much, so I hope we play a good match.'"

Betting odds (via William Hill)

Johanna Konta win – 4/9

Shuai Zhang win – 7/4

Head-to-head record

These two have met twice before, each claiming a win. Konta battled to secure a three-sets victory in a qualifying round for the US Open back in 2012, while Zhang evened the score with a straight sets win at the Guangzhou Open at the quarter-final stage in 2013.