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Konta edges Vekic in marathon

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 05-07-2017 skysports.com

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British No 1 Johanna Konta reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time after seeing off Donna Vekic in a marathon contest on Wednesday.

Konta set the record straight against Vekic, having lost to the Croatian on grass last month in the Nottingham Open final, by claiming a stunning 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 10-8 victory in three hours and 10 minutes on Centre Court.

"It's a nice feeling not to have to keep going out there," Konta said. "We were out there a long time and both of us battled incredibly hard. "Whoever was going to draw the short straw was going to be hurting."

Sixth seed Konta wasted a couple of break point opportunities in the opening game and was made to pay as the 21-year-old Vekic broke in the ninth game, but she was unable to serve out the set as the Briton struck back immediately.

Vekic, ranked 58, repelled Konta to hold onto her serve following a marathon service game before an opening set tiebreak which went the way of the Briton 7-4 after 67 minutes.

With temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius not even an infestation of flying ants on Centre Court could stop these two from battling it out. However, it was Vekic who had the edge in a set which included three breaks of serves to take the match into a decider.

There was not a glimpse of a break in a tense and highly competitive final set as the serve dominated proceedings.

Konta held off two separate break point opportunities before Vekic saved one match point in the 17th game with an ace. But when Konta was offered a second bite at the cherry, she took it as her opponent finally cracked under the pressure. Both players then met with an emotional embrace at the net.

"I think I overall trusted my game a bit more this time," added Konta, who is trying to become the first British woman to win the Wimbledon title since Virginia Wade in 1977. "I'm definitely here with the intention of wanting to be a part of the event for the full two weeks."

Konta will now play world No 101 Maria Sakkari from Greece after the 21-year-old came through 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 against Czech Kristyna Pliskova.

For those on the move, we will have Wimbledon covered via our website skysports.com/tennis and then click through to our dedicated section skysports.com/tennis/wimbledon. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation. Who will win the All England Club titles this summer? Have your say...

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