Rome: Britain’s Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to seal victory on her fourth match point against Kiki Bertens to reach the final at the Italian Open on Saturday.
Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open last week, after almost three hours on the red clay of Rome. Dutchwoman Bertens had advanced to the semi-finals after world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan retired with a hand injury before their match Friday.
Konta next meets either Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova or Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari, who beat the British number one on clay in the final of the Moroccan Open earlier this month. In the men’s semi-finals, world number one Novak Djokovic plays Argentine Diego Schwartzman after surviving two match points in a thrilling three-set tussle late into the night against Juan Martin del Potro on Friday.
Nadal in final
Defending champion Rafael Nadal swept past Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to advance to his first final on clay this season at the Italian Open on Saturday. The eight-time Rome winner had been stunned by Tsitsipas, seeded eighth, in the semi-finals at the Madrid Open last weekend.
But the 32-year-old Spaniard was clinical on the red clay of the Foro Italico winning through in 1hr 42min to maintain his record of having not dropped a set this week.