Johanna Konta
Konta fell behind in the opening set on Centre Court. Getty

Johanna Konta has become the first British women to reach the semi-final stage at SW19 since 1978 after coming from a set behind to beat Simona Halep on Centre Court.

The British number one will take on Venus Williams in her semi-final clash on Thursday (13 July).

Halep took the first break point in just the second game of the contest with a vicious return, sprinting into a 3-0 lead after a slow start from the Briton. Konta rallied to get her first point on the board, moving onto break point but would pass up the opportunity to close the gap with a string of overhit forehands allowing Halep to open up a three-game advantage.

Konta roared back, however, winning the next two games and forcing break point at the third time of asking with some big hitting, holding serve to level a thrilling opener at 4-4. Continuing to go blow for blow, a tie-break beckoned, with Halep securing a remarkable winner to move into a 3-2 lead, overpowering the home favourite who could only return wide.

After another Konta forehand found the net, her Romanian opponent, now the much more intense of the two, slammed another forehand out of her reach to take the opener.

After sending two wild efforts wide, Konta calmed herself to take the opening game of the second set, forcing Halep to save two break points. It was the closest either woman would come to finding another break for some time, each holding serve with the set tied at 3-3.

Konta's serve in the seventh game was flawless, smashing home effortless winners to throw the gauntlet down to 25-year-old Halep. On serve, Halep stuttered again, teeing up another break point for the Briton but an overambitious forehand invited her opponent to rescue herself again, serving out to force another tie-break.

Having taken just one break point from seven, Konta had passed up opportunities to find a breakthrough. But as the contest drifted into another tie break, the British number one forced the decider with a splendid backhand into the corner that had Halep scrambling.

Nerves jangled throughout the crowd at Centre Court but Konta kept her composure against the second seed, who she recently defeated in Miami. An inch was neither given or received until midway through the final set, when Konta broke the otherwise staunch serve of Halep - having saved break points of her own - to take control of proceedings at a crucial moment.

Halep decided to go for broke as Konta served for the match, but the Briton - a wild shank on the first point aside - was not phased by the second seed's efforts and held her nerve to rewrite history and inch ever closer to her first ever Grand Slam.

Elsewhere, Jelena Ostapenko's dream run at Wimbledon was brought to an end by Venus Williams despite another courageous challenge from the 20-year-old. Ostapenko, who became only the second unseeded player ever to win the women's French Open singles title in Paris last month, had been vying for another major, but fell to a 3-6 5-7 defeat to Williams, a player 17 years her senior.

After losing the opening set, Ostapenko rallied impressively in the second, fighting back from 3-1 down to take a 4-3 lead. But a lapse in concentration from the young challenger saw Williams break back at 6-5 to finally stamp out her challenge.

Garbine Muguruza meanwhile finds herself in the hunt for her second grand slam title after a relatively comfortable 6-3 6-4 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova in her quarter-final match. The 2016 French Open champion will take on Magdalena Rybarikova, following her 6-3 6-3 win over Coco Vandeweghe.