Day 10 Australian Open Tennis


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Day 10

Katherine Downes with highlights from the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. In 2016, Great Britain had two Grand Slam singles semi-finalists for the first time since 1977.


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Good afternoon and thanks for joining us for the highlights from

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Melbourne. And there have been plenty of them today. Johanna Konta

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has been dreaming about this day for her whole career, the chance to take

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on her childhood hero on the big stage. That hero is none other than

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the great Serena Williams, the biggest challenge in the women's

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game. So, quite a task ahead for Jo Konta. With Andy Murray out, she

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carries the wake of British expectation. Quite a responsibility.

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Is she up for it? What do we know about Johanna Konta? Controlled

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aggression all the way through for Johanna Konta...

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Absolute masterclass from Johanna Konta. The amazing start to need

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2017 continues! As a young girl wanting to be a professional tennis

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player, it is an incredible honour, and I cannot wait to share the court

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with her. It is Serena Williams, irresistible, majestic, in a class

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of her own. Serena celebrates, and why not? Jo

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Konta is no rookie. She is ranked ninth in the world, and Serena

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Williams of course needs no introduction. 22 time Grand Slam

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champion. But remarkably, this will be the first time these two players

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have faced each other, a leap into the unknown for both players. The

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stuff of dreams on court for Johanna Konta today. And the winner will

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play all move, who is living her own fairy tale. She all but gave up

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tennis for a period of three years. It has taken her the best part of a

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decade to battle her way back. But here she is beating you McGeachie in

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the quarterfinals. 19 years ago, she last won goal at the open. And that

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was who was interviewing her after this latest victory. Like I said the

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other day, one day I will say a long story about things that happened to

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me. But I could never dream about being here again! This is just...

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I know this means a lot to every player, to reach the semifinals, but

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to me, this is overwhelming, I will never, ever forget this day and this

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last couple of weeks. This has truly made my life and everything bad that

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happened, it has made it OK. Just a fact that I was this strong and it

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was worth fighting this harder. It's really incredible. It is wonderful

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to see how much it means and how hard she had worked for it. So,

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Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is into the last four, as is Venus Williams. It

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means there is only one match left to complete the semifinal line-up.

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It is hard to imagine what was going through Johanna Konta's mind as she

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made the long walk to the court. Her coach had said a lot would depend on

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which of the many faces of Serena Williams turned up on court. At her

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cool, calm best, Serena might prove unbeatable. So, which Serena would

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it be? We will join the first set at 1-1.

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She has worked with a lot of great players, and the greatest in my

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book, Margaret Court, in attendance today. Of course she did not work

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with HER, let's be quite clear about that! 24 Majors for Margaret Court.

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Margaret, an incredible athlete, tall, when you stand next to her for

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the first time. Athleticism playing as much a part of the sport back

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then as it does now. Even more so now.

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Margaret Court won here 11 times. Digest that for a few minutes. I

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will, thanks! 11, it's incredible! That is Serena at her very best!

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Even though Konta lost that point, I like where she's standing, right up

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on the baseline, going to two-tone with Serena Williams. It's just that

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last shot that Serena has, just a little bit more firepower on eight.

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-- on it. Struggling to make a first serve at

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the moment. And pays the price. When you've got

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someone like Konta, who takes the ball early and can return like that,

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it will just continue to add the pressure.

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There you go. The baseline position is so important, to take time away

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from one of the greatest feats this sport has ever seen. First couple of

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games in this first set will determine how this match will play

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out, we said, and it's good signs for Konta early on. She's got a

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break point. You can hear what Serena is saying - get a first serve

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in! It gives you a good idea of what an important cornerstone that is in

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her game. Serve well, play well. Into the top 20 just before

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Wimbledon steer, Konta. The first British woman to do so in almost 30

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years. -- just before Wimbledon last year.

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Once again, punishing a Williams second serve. Just that added depth

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on the return which allows Konta to get shorter response.

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UMPIRE: Advantage, Williams. That's two missed returns. Konta has to

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take those opportunities. And what a difference that first

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serve makes. Makes this sport a lot easier, when you're getting free

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points, like that. Williams survives.

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Serving from the tougher end, looking directly into the sun. It

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will be tough for the next 45 minutes or so. Wow!

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Konta served very well in her match against Makarova. However, against

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Serena Williams, she has to add a bit more placement on that second

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serve. Tell you what, when Serena starts to

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hit a forehand well, you'd better watch out.

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What was so impressive, which numbers in particular in her

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previous match? Well, on her first serve, she did go in, Konta, and she

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won those points 80% of the time. It goes to show, when you can start

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with a big first serve, Konta, who likes to be aggressive, it's almost

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always going in her favour. And that is supposedly the less

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reliable side for Serena. She's striping it at the moment. She's got

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herself two break points early on. Always helps when you can win free

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points of that first serve. They're like gold dust. Two aces apiece so

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far. UMPIRE: Game, Williams. She's

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looking rock-solid from the back of the court, Williams.

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STUDIO: Which Serena would walk out on court? We have our answer. Konta

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was broken again and ended up losing the first set 6-2. Into the second

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set, with Serena leading 1-0. This really is a must buy from hold

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for Johanna Konta. She cannot to let this second set slip away quickly.

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She was giving it the old sabre there. Why not, when you're

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training? -- trailing? For once, unable to manufacture

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something. Just reminding herself to get that

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net clearance. Always want to get that might have passed the first

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obstacle, any good coach will tell you. -- get that ball past the first

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optical. Matty Done! She waited for the

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shorter opportunity, Konta. She hasn't had many short responses from

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Serena Williams, but she took a traffic. Serena, applauding her

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efforts. -- she took advantage of it.

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That's a big hold, isn't it? In the circumstances. Going back to 0-40,

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that was a crucial point. It was an absolute must-hold for Konta. Well

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done. They're the returns I would love

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Konta to make. She's not missing them by much. It could add so much

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value to this game. A big body blow if Williams gets

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broken, she was up 0-40 in the previous game, 40-15 in this one.

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The first serve has just deserted her.

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That is where the frustration is coming from. Williams having a

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number of opportunities to take the lead here in the second set. Three

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of 13 first serves, only 23% of them.

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Johanna Konta has stolen another game from right underneath Serena

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Williams' nose. STUDIO: So, Konta fighting back

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against the champion, the next two games went with serve, so here is

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Konta serving at 3-2. COMMENTATOR: Serena dominated the

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opening set, serving big, hardly making any unforced error s, plenty

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of winners. She was up 40-15 in her next service

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game, got broken. So that is where we are.

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This is where Konta has to work even harder than she has in the second

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set to not let this lead slip away. She has to pick the right moment to

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dictate play on. And just like that, it's three more

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break points for Serena. The raw athleticism at its very

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best. There is that flat one again. She

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just wants 10% slice on it, and I think she will make more.

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Williams is currently serving at 32%, but when she has got her first

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serve in, which has been on seven occasions in this second set, she

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has been successful every single time in terms of winning the point.

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Great off the ball movement from Konta.

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A very aggressive second serve, just enough on it to get the error.

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Dropping the hammer. The serve comes to the rescue. 4-3, Serena leads,

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second set. Girls' day out by the looks of it. It is a perfect day to

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witness some fantastic tennis. The sun is out, hats out.

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Just a couple of times Konta not getting her feet in the right

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position, also off that backhand side.

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Just solid tennis from Serena Williams.

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UMPIRE: Game, set and match Williams.

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A great start for 2017 for Johanna Konta, and she will get a lot of

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feedback from playing Serena for the first time, she will no what she

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needs to work on, where she needs to get a little better, but of course

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with that win today, Serena with Venus representing the first time in

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the open era to players aged 35 or older have reached the semifinal at

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a Grand Slam. But is pretty cool. They were there at the beginning and

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they are still going strong in the latter stages of their respective

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careers. Joe came into this tournament having won Sydney, she

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has been playing fabulous tennis. I was in the locker room watching her

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win, and she is doing so well, so she is definitely a future champion

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here for sure, so I was happy to be able to get through that. I don't

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know if you saw the next match, and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, what is up

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with you guys? 34, 35, Venus is 36, girls in their 30s are happening! It

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Israeli amazing, 30s is the new ten! I am so ploughed of Mirjana -- so

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proud of Mirjana, it is so great to see her back out here, playing in

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the semifinal, it is so inspiring for me, and no matter what happens,

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some 134 or all do will be in the final, so that is great!

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STUDIO: There must be something in the water in Melbourne, the veterans

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seeing off the youngsters. Serena Williams' serve too much for Johanna

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Konta, but Jo is positive. So much of the matches on her terms, and I

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think having good acceptance of that and acknowledging that sometimes you

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are not doing anything wrong, it is just the quality of player that she

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is and the competitor that she is, so I think having better acceptance

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of that, and also staying a bit, and more perspective when you do get the

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opportunities, and not feeling too stressed that that is the only one

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you are going to get. And she has said that you will win the title one

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day, you have to win seven matches to do that, but generally would you

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say that here and New York at the US Open are your best chances for a

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Grand Slam? I hope that I will be able to play great tennis at all of

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the slams on all of the surfaces, it would be nice to be able to say

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that. All I can do is focus on the work, all I can do is look to keep

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trying to get better, and hopefully one day if it is on the cards for

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me, I will get my chance. So, this is how the semifinals line-up now,

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Serena through to play Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a 35 you rolled

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against a 34-year old, while 36-year-old Venus Williams meet

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Vandeweghe, a junior in comparison at 26! Now let's bring you the

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wheelchair events, and there has been a shock, because offending

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champion Gordon Reid is out of the men's singles, losing in three sets

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to Gerard, the man he beat in last year's final. And Alfie Hewett is

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also out, Lucy Shuker has reached the finals of the women's event.

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Grigor Dimitrov remains unbeaten in 2017, he beat David Goffin in

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straight sets to reach the semis, and Rafael Nadal's comeback

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continues, he beat Milos Raonic in straight sets and is through to his

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first Grand Slam semi since 2014. Raonic now says his participation in

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next trick's Davis Cup tie against Braid Great Britain is very much up

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in the air, he had been named in the Canadian team. The semifinal line-up

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is now completed, it is a bit like turning back the clock, with Serena

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and Venus through, and Rafa and Roger still going strong. Tomorrow

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Roger takes on Stan in and also is tied, they have won Olympic together

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and the Davis Cup together, but now it is each man himself, 12 years

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after the first of their 21 meetings. And we will bring you that

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on BBC Two from 5pm, commentary on Radio 5Live from 7am tomorrow as

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well. And the world indoor Bowls Championships continue in Hopton on

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set, live on the red button from 10am, and then from one o'clock here

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on BBC Two as well. So it wasn't a beaver Johanna Konta,

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today it has been a Grand Slam of surprises so far, Djokovic out, and

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underdogs like Dan Evans and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni triumphing against the

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odds. -- it wasn't to be for Johanna Konta. She was served up a

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masterclass in Melbourne today, a sora mind that Serena is still

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supreme. Thanks for watching. Goodbye.

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To break someone physically... Agh! ..is not a problem.

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Katherine Downes introduces highlights from the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Victories for Johanna Konta and Andy Murray at this stage in 2016 gave Great Britain two Grand Slam singles semi-finalists for the first time since 1977.