Johanna Konta became only the third female British tennis player ever to beat an opponent ranked inside the world's top three and the first in over 30 years with the greatest triumph of her professional career to date against Simona Halep at the Wuhan Open. Trailing 1-0 after the opening set and 1-5 down in the second, the 24-year-old produced a rousing comeback to take the tie 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and claim her 21st victory in 22 matches.
"It was a very tough match," Sydney-born Konta said following her latest heroics at the Optics Valley International Tennis Center. "She played at an unbelievable level. I was really happy I was able to take a few of the chances I created. I feel humbled that I get the chance to come back tomorrow to compete again. Thank you to all of you for coming. You made a lot of noise and it is a wonderful stadium."
Konta had never been past the second round of a grand slam before a spirited run to the last 16 at the US Open earlier this month. Having emerged victorious through three qualifying rounds to book her place in the main draw at Flushing Meadows, she then beat Louisa Chirico, Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza and Andrea Petkovic before falling to fifth seed Petra Kvitova in straight sets. The new British number one also amassed 220 WTA ranking points and boosted her number of ITF titles to 11 with success at challenger tournaments held in Granby and Vancouver.
After Virginia Wade, Sue Barker's win against Tracey Austin in Brighton in 1981 was the last time a British female player managed a victory against such a highly ranked opponent. Konta will look to continue her incredible run against Venus Williams on 1 October following the experienced American's 6-3, 6-4 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.
Social media has been teeming with fans offering their praise and support of her resilient effort. Current and former professionals have also been eager to express their congratulations, including world number three Andy Murray who tweeted: "Incredible result from @jokonta91."