Tennis: Konta crushes home favourite in Beijing quarters

Johanna Konta in action against Zhang Shuai of China during their women's quarter final match of the China Open in Beijing on Oct 7, 2016.
Johanna Konta in action against Zhang Shuai of China during their women's quarter final match of the China Open in Beijing on Oct 7, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

(AFP) - Johanna Konta crushed home hero Zhang Shuai in two sets in the China Open quarter-finals on Friday (Oct 7) as Andy Murray and David Ferrer offered tough lessons to their younger opponents.

Buoyed by the home crowd, Zhang broke the Briton twice to take the opening four points of the match.

But at 0-4 down, Konta abruptly turned the tide in her favour winning 12 consecutive points to book her semi-final place with a 6-4, 6-0 victory.

The fourteenth-ranked Briton is now one win away from joining the ranks of the top 10, which would make her the first British woman to join the elite grouping since Jo Durie in 1984.

Konta next faces American Madison Keys, who ended Petra Kvitova's eight-match winning streak in an epic two-tie break victory, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5).

Meanwhile, Murray beat Davis Cup team-mate Kyle Edmund and Ferrer dispatched German youngster Alexander Zverev to set up a semi-final face-off.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was forced into a tense 20-point tie break in the first set by his 21-year-old compatriot, finally clinching it with a forehand passing shot.

But Edmund - who upset 18th-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round - was unable to hold his serve in the second, conceding the match 7-6 (11-9), 6-2.

Zverev, 19, was looking to cap a breakout season with a second career title in Beijing, but was unable to capitalise on his first-set lead as he was overpowered by Ferrer 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5.

The German upset the Swiss world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka to win his maiden ATP title at St. Petersburg in September, having downed No. 9 Tomas Berdych in the semis.

In Beijing he beat 10th-ranked Austrian Dominic Thiem in the first round, making him the first teenager to defeat three top 10 players in a row since Boris Becker in 1986.

Despite the loss, Zverev - who started the year ranked 83 - is expected to rise to 21 when the new rankings are released on Monday as he edges towards a place in the top 20 for the first time.