Johanna Konta loses Wimbledon quarter-final as she crashes out in straight sets
Johanna Konta was unable to take advantage of another grand slam opportunity as she suffered a quarter-final defeat by unseeded veteran Barbora Strycova at Wimbledon.
The British number one deserved huge credit for getting to the last eight at a second consecutive grand slam but, as in the semi-finals of the French Open, when the favourite's tag was on her, Konta was found wanting.
Strycova plays a similar game to her fellow Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who was Konta's conqueror in Paris, and there was an all-too familiar feeling as the 28-year-old let an early lead slip away before going down 7-6 (5) 6-1.
It was particularly disappointing coming after Konta's performances in the last two rounds, where she had recovered from a set down to defeat top-10 duo Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova.
Wimbledon players hit where it hurts because of on-court antics
Who is new tennis star Cori Gauff making waves at Wimbledon?
Strycova more than played her part, using her full repertoire of shots and court craft to prevent Konta from getting into a rhythm.
The 33-year-old, who is ranked 54, said earlier this week it may be her final Wimbledon, and for her to move through to a first grand slam singles semi-final and take on Serena Williams is a tremendous achievement.
Konta insisted after her defeat by Vondrousova that she had no regrets but 33 unforced errors showed that this was a huge occasion where once again she was unable to bring anything like her best.
Konta had been hoping to match the achievement of England's Lionesses, many of whom were watching from the Royal Box, by reaching the semi-finals.
But her defeat means there's no further British interest in the singles events.
Strycova now goes on to play Serena Williams in the semi-final. Williams battled past fellow American Alison Riske in three sets before returning to Centre Court a couple of hours later to partner Andy Murray in the mixed doubles.
Williams revealed her secret weapon in her match against Riske was the "business bun".
She said after her win: “Today (my hair) was just in my way, and the wind – I was missing a shot because it’s in my face.
“I was like, this is not happening. I just needed to get it out of the way, put the business bun up and just get to business.”