MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Johanna Konta ground down Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 at the Australian Open on Wednesday (Jan 27) to become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam in over 30 years.
The 47th-ranked Konta battled nerves and a wayward serve at times but overpowered the 133rd-ranked Zhang from the baseline to wrap up the match in 1hr 23min on a warm, sunny afternoon at the Rod Laver Arena.
After trading service breaks at the start of the second set, Konta roared to a 5-1 lead before sealing the win on the third match point with a lucky net cord that gave Zhang no chance.
The last British woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam was Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open.
Konta will seek to continue her fairy-tale run when she takes on German seventh seed Angelique Kerber for a place in the final.
Kerber had upset two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 earlier.