Konta fights back to seal semi-final spot

Australia’s Daria Gavrilova has been knocked out of the China Open after going down in straight sets in her quarter-final clash against Elina Svitolina.

The Ukranian, who knocked out top-seeded German Angelique Kerber in the previous round, prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Svitolina will now face third seed Agnieszka Radwanska who brushed aside Kazahkstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1 6-2.

Britain’s Johanna Konta also advanced to the semi-finals after fighting back in remarkable fashion to beat home favourite Zhang Shuai.

Konta, the world No.14, trailed 4-0 in the opening set, but bounced back from her slow start to win the next 12 games in succession for a 6-4 6-0 triumph.

The 25-year-old 11th seed is aiming to force her way into contention for the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month and certainly looked to be on a mission against Zhang, ranked 36 in the world.

Play was briefly held up on set point in the first as a spectator made their way back to their seat, and there subsequently appeared to be some concern over the pressure of the balls being used.

But there was little stopping Konta, who will now meet American Madison Keys in the last four after the eighth seed beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5).

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