Johanna Konta crashes out in Melbourne as Nadal stays on course

January 25, 2017

British hopes of Australian Open glory were ended overnight as Johanna Konta was knocked out in her quarter-final tie by Serena Williams.

The veteran American, who Konta had never faced before, produced one of her finest performances in a long time in winning 6-2, 6-3 on the Rod Laver Arena. Afterwards, the Briton admitted she had never come across such power, but said the experience would be a positive one she can learn from.

However, Serena had kind words for her British opponent, remarking: "She's definitely a future champion here for sure."

Fans booking corporate hospitality for The Championships, Wimbledon may be excited by the thought of Konta continuing her progress and eventually winning Grand Slams, but in the meantime another theme that may be prominent this year is the remarkable sight of many 30-somethings in the latter stages of both the men's and women's draws.

That theme continued when Rafael Nadal won in straight sets against Milos Raonic to set up a semi-final against Grigor Dimitrov, who at 25 is a mere baby in the last four.

With the other semi-final being an all-Swiss clash between the 35-year-old Roger Federer and 31-year old Stan Wawrinka, the possibility of dream final between Federer and Nadal remains.

In the women's draw, a similar picture has emerged, with both Serena and Venus Williams in the semi-finals. Venus will face fellow American Coco Vandeweghe, the only 20-something left, while Serena is up against 35-year-old Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Nadal's win was a crushing blow for Raonic, who as the highest-ranked player left in the draw must have hoped this was his big chance to secure his first Grand Slam. However, having lost the first set, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up missed six set points in the second, including one on serve in the tie-break when he double-faulted. Nadal then clinched the third as the Canadian struggled with an apparent abdominal injury.

Should Nadal win the tournament, he would become the first player ever to win all four Grand Slams more than once.

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