Konta made to pay for missed chances as French Open dreams are dashed

Johanna Konta crashed out in the semi-finals of the French Open

Johanna Konta’s hopes of reaching a first grand slam final were ended by a straight-sets loss to Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova at the French Open.

This appeared a golden chance for Konta to become the first British woman to win a slam singles title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977, but she let winning positions in both sets slip away and went down 7-5 7-6 (2).

In the end, it was 19-year-old Vondrousova who showed the greater composure, coming back from 5-3 down in both sets.

The first set was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Konta, who had three set points at 5-3 only to lose four games in a row.

As the players took golf carts out into the botanic gardens, where a disappointingly sparse crowd had gathered for the hastily-arranged contest on Court Simonne Mathieu, Konta looked relaxed.

But this was a different scenario from her two previous semi-finals given she found herself, remarkably, as the most experienced player left in the tournament.

Vondrousova had never been beyond the fourth round at a slam before and her nerves were obvious in the first game with back-to-back double faults, while Konta clinched the break with a backhand winner down the line.

By the time Vondrousova won her first point, Konta had already won 10, but the British player let her opponent off the hook by placing a forehand wide of the open court and that settled the Czech down.

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