Semi-Final, Part 1 Tennis: Eastbourne

Semi-Final, Part 1

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Good afternoon from Eastbourne. No rain, no thunder, no lightning, a


gentle sea breeze and the most glorious sunshine. After all the


interruptions, this is how the draw looks at the moment. Rushing towards


Centre Court to see Jo Konta in action. This week, in between the


rain showers, we have had some spectacular 3-set matches. There was


the match a few months ago finishing between Dominika Cibulkova and


Agnieszka Radwanska. Cibulkova coming back to win after going a set


down. Pliskova is waiting for the winner


of the match that has literally just art it. Jo has not got off to the


best start because she has lost her serve but she is 30-0 in her second


service game. We will join Sam Smith and Antioch along.


COMMENTATOR: Devonshire Park looking picture perfect. Very different from


the monsoon conditions of yesterday evening. They were held until 7:30pm


before being told to come back tomorrow. Just what Jo needed, a


convincing service game after being broken in the first of the match.


Playing in front of a packed house here. It is the third meeting


between these two. They played here last year, Konta winning in straight


sets. They then played a wonderful match at the Australian Open on the


Margaret Court Arena, 8-6 in the decider for Jo. One of the best


performances to date that she had put in. But the pressure has changed


now, Konta rated 18 in the world, Makarova is a former champion here


and has been in the top ten. Expectation is that Konta will back


up the victory. The pressure is on Konta. Makarova can play with more


freedom these days. I don't think her expectations are too high. A


former champion here. A ninth consecutive appearance. It is the


sort of tournament that when it comes to the end of the season and


sorting out her calendar, eased Bourne is written in then


straightaway. She has had a good run here, beating the British wild card


Tara Moore in her opening match. She then beat last is US Open finalist


Roberta Vinci and then three sets needed against the former German


number one Andrea Petkovic. It has been a busy week for all of the


players here. A couple of matches per day as one of these two will.


Whoever makes the semifinal against Pliskova will be forth on Centre


Court. -- fourth. Let's tell you about it capturing


of. 28 years of age, lives and practices in Moscow. For many years


has been one of the top Russian players.


Had to grow up in the golden syrup of Russian tennis and has almost


been in the shadows. Last year she went into the top ten.


And lastly is one of the world's worst doubles players. A wonderful


partnership with Elena Vesnina. Two grand slam titles have come their


way. Konta with three chances to get the break back.


Looking so poised and the British number one is back on track.


That serve is going to be key in this match today. Has served so well


in this tournament so far. Everything about Johanna Konta is


very deliberate. Particularly the start of this serve and the way she


bounces it. It tells you everything you need to know about her.


Looked a little nervous in her opening match but came through. Was


so impressive coming from a set down against Tetra Kvitova. The two-time


Wimbledon champion, 6-0 in the decider. She said she was seeing the


ball like a football. That was way back on Wednesday afternoon. Didn't


get an court yesterday. She has the wind with her on this


end, Konta. Yes, as you look down the court, it is blowing


left-to-right, a diagonal over that left shoulder. The southern end


seems to be the easier end to play with the wind but I'm due. -- behind


you. Fantastic from the British number


one. A great drop shot to win the point but it was the forehand


crosscourt that was really impressive from Konta. The way she


is able to defend from that win these days, so much better. -- from


that side. Really good recovery from being broken in her opening game.


I am trying to get in my head, Jo Konta of 12 months ago when she was


ranked 140 in the world. How she came through all the weight get


through to the quarterfinals before losing to Belinda Bencic and beating


Garbine Muguruza, which is a result looking better with age. And last


week broke into the world top 20. It has been an extraordinary 12 months,


can you explain what has happened? No other player has been able to


rise up the rankings as rapidly as Johanna Konta in the last 12 months.


The improvement she has made, everything now, it is a totally


different experience. It has taken its toll on her. If you look at her


results over the last couple of weeks, the demand is now on and off


the court have had a bit of an effect on her. They have quadrupled.


It is not something she hasn't been used do in the past. But it is


something she will have to get used to quickly because everybody wants a


piece of her. She is playing some wonderful tennis, that match against


Kvitova was one of the best we have seen from her. Ekaterina Makarova


who has been a fine player over the last decade knows she has her work


cut out here. Great to see her back on tour, she


didn't play in the US Open last year. Struggled with an injury in


her right leg. Was forced to restart at the beginning of the season.


Always known as a dangerous opponent. A great shot maker from


the back of the court. We will try not to go on about it


too much but they are playing in a wind tunnel. They really are, it is


not easy on court. It is swirling around a lot. And bouncing off all


of the stands. It is the most windy day we have had so far here at


Devonshire Park. Konta wanted to have a look at that


but a bit late with the challenge. There was a look over to her coach


and he shrugged at her. He is on the service line behind the umpire. Not


in a good position. It was the baseline nearest our commentary box.


I must admit it did look long. But we are not infallible. Our


performance has been mixed. The call is confirmed and Makarova holds.


Her mum is here this week. Her mum, Olga. I wonder if mum had in that


challenge. Not really supposed to look to the coaching camp, are you?


It is hard not to. She will need a change of socks for


next week, at SW 19. They are not ankle supports? I think they may


need to be white next week. Luxury for Jo, she can stay with her


parents who have a place not far from here. Her dad was here


yesterday. Her likes to go back and watch it on TV. Yes, her mum gets


too nervous. Her mum, Gabriella. Her mum has been around and about to


watch practises and to hang out with Jo between matches. When it actually


comes down to the nitty-gritty, she prefers to go in and out of her


sitting room to see what is going on the TV. She gets too nervous to sit


courtside. This is also another area where


Konta has made huge improvements at defence, but also the way she uses


the slice backhand. Well Makarova... Konta is looking


very comfortable. That's been the surprise, really,


that wonderful run to the Australian Open semi-finals, up to the fourth


round at the US Open last year. It isn't just she's had a big week or


fortnight and then dropped off in form, she's continued to back up


results. She won in Asia last year and nearly beating Venus Williams,


who she beat at Melbourne Park. She has continually backed up these


results and to me looks like she belongs in the top 20 now. It is


incredible watching her play these days. This is a completely different


Johanna Konta to the Konta I remember plaque tising with a few


years ago. I mean, she doesn't, outwardly, anyway, fret as much. She


contains her emotions and manages everything better than she ever used


to. And in terms of her game, you know,


she's always had the game to play well. It just never used to come


together consistently enough. The improvements in her movement,


her defensive game, as well as her forehand have been huge. They have


been subtle little changes she's been working on with her coach. And


the most important thing, though, she believes. It is wonderful to see


after five or six years on the satellite and challenger tour, which


is a difficult initiation. You don't want to stay there too long, but she


has broken well away from that. And Makarova on serve now with the new


balls. Doing a good job battling against


the wind as she levels up. Konta is certainly the favourite


going into this match-up. It is worth remembering this is her


seventh quarter final here. She has a reputation in Eastbourne as well


as being the champion six years ago. She is such a tidy player, Makarova.


She won this tournament six years ago as a qualifier. Just looking at


some of the names she beat on her way to the title - t Peneta and


Azarenka in the final. No wonder she keeps coming back here


every year. Very good at changing play of


direction, Makarova. Using the line off both wings.


Such a flat strike too. These two are playing right to the


lines. Both are rather weary of dropping anything short. A good game


from the Russian: She has three chances to break Konta for the


second time in this opening set. Really nice.


Makarova, back on top and will zer for this opening set.


-- serve. A great recovery from Makarova in


the last few games. We are going to get a chance to


listen to Jo's coach. Let's hope Mr Director will send him


our way. I am not sure if he's actually got his microphone on at


the moment. We cannot be evaluating everything


from here. Every ball we miss, or every point that we lose. OK. Other


than that, which is the most important thing... I want you to


work on. That let's beat bigger targets to start to feel more solid.


Well t conditions are an issue. We have a lot of wind. Let's stay with


the same game plan with bigger targets. Stay to the mid-we go


there. It has been difficult for both of you. Stay tough, please.


Feel how hard you are working and beat your target.


Very impressive. He travels with her quite a few weeks of the year and


makes an awful lot of sense, but right now, it is Makarova to serve


for this first set. There is nothing you can do about


that. Hits it so flat, doesn't she? She


will always get a few off the tape. The backhand is very much Konta's


favoured shot. When she's got time to lean into it, it really is


effective. Not easy for either player to


control it in this wind. Things have changed very quickly. Konta with two


chances for the immediate break back.


I am sure we will get another look at that point because the ball was


moving right away from her and I am sure she was worried about touching


the net. It was an awkward shot but to miss it by that distance is


something else. Not one for the highlight reel. All square in the


first set. Only just over 100 mph but perfect


position with plenty of work and slice on it.


She doesn't miss mid-court backhands, Makarova.


Makarova has been a wonderful player for a long time. Her mum is on the


right. As a shawl with her just in case it turns chilly later. Well


done. The perfect 1-2 four Konta. Konta making Makarova paper not


serving out this set. Some big serving from Konta to get herself


out of trouble. You use to practice with her at the National tennis


Centre in Roehampton for a number of years. What was it like trying to


return that serve? It has always been good but what makes it really


good is the disguise on it. It is a consistent old toss so you are never


quite sure what type of serve you are going to get, the slice, the


flat one or the kicker. She uses all of them and uses her height to get


up to it incredibly well. The second serve? A lot of people are starting


to really talk about this second serve and how tough it is. It is


because she can use the kicker incredibly well, particular on the


ad side. She has the ability to change it up well. She uses her


height to maximum effect. Her serve has always been a weapon


but it is much better these days. She didn't start this quarterfinal


territory well but goodness me she has picked it up. Makarova now


serving to stay in this first set. The variety in Konta's game is also


notable. Her willingness to change up the pace and the spin.


She has to aim through the centre of the court when she his pushed that


far out wide and under pressure. Both ends with different sets of


problems. Makarova with a chance now to take this into the tie-break.


Great reset from the Russian. I am not sure if a Rover has been


allergic to tie-breaks this year but has not had many. Konta has had a


very good record in them. Makarova just too tentative with


this Molly, did not stick it enough and it sat up nicely for Konta.


The favourite shot. Why is this backhand so good? She uses her left


hand so well. When she gets behind the ball and her body weight through


the shot, she stays through so well. It is just a natural swing for her.


Great hustle. The mini-breaks not out. She is playing an experienced


campaigner in Makarova. It really is an afternoon for


industrial strength hairspray. It is moving all over the place and Konta


needs to regroup here. A rather introverted character on court,


Ekaterina Makarova. A lovely personality and easy off court.


Sometimes it has held her back with her results, not always backing


herself. We will see what she can do from here.


Fantastic return from Konta. Had the depth and pace. There are light


brown patches on the court. If you hit that, the ball shoots through.


Got to keep going after it with her backhand.


Yeah. Good second serve from Konta, straight into the body of Makarova.


This is what every one has been talking about, how great this second


serve is from Konta. She looks back in the driving seat here.




Such clear thinking from the British number one. She might make the Rover


pay for not serving out this first set. She now has a chance to close


it. That will do very nicely! And it is


Konta who wins the first set breaker by seven points to five.


STUDIO Well, what a great set of tennis.


Nip and tuck, going this way and that. Eventually going to the con


to's way. If you stayed up all night to watch David Dimbleby's brilliant


tour de force, unbelievable, spellbinding television. You may be


flagging a bit. If you want more EU referendum debate, it was going to


be on BBC Two but it's now been moved to BBC One at 2pm this


afternoon, so we can stay with Jo Konta. If you want to watch Jo


Konta, stay here. For all the attention on Jo at the moment, Andy


Murray is going to be the focus of so much attention. Without getting


ahead of ourselves, if you want to know what kind of a draw he's got,


having not played a British athlete for ten years since Tim Henman in


2006 committee ended up playing Aljaz Bedene and then Kyle Edmund at


Queen's. He's got Liam Broady in the first round, then Lu of Taipei,


Benoit Paire after that, Nick Kyrgios, that is where it starts


getting serious, and then it's basically a repeat of Roland Garros.


He would have Richard Gasquet potentially in the quarterfinal,


Stan Wawrinka in the semifinal and perhaps inevitably Novak Djokovic in


the final, who is aiming to win his fifth Grand Slam title in a row.


Europe is 68 miles away from Eastbourne, but every day it gets


further. COMMENTATOR: Jo Konta will be seeded


16th at Wimbledon which means she will be in the posh bit upstairs and


she will not play a player ranked higher than herself until she gets


to the fourth round if she gets there, she would blame Monica Puig,


but right now lots of work to do, Ekaterina Makarova is a tough


campaign and the Russian will kick off this second set. -- she would


play Monica Puig. Well, Makarova not using the change


of ends very well. Konta with chances to pounce here.


Oh dear. The Russian has gone completely awry. I certainly


didn't expect that, did you? No, I thought Makarova, with her


experience, would have done a better job regrouping at the end of that


first set. She can only really blame herself. In the tie-break at 5-4.


The Demons will be wandering around in her mind somewhere. This is


someone who has been a Grand Slam finalist at the US Open and


Austrlian Open. Jo has been a Grand Slam finalist acrobatic spaced


semifinalist now, making her more than a match.


-- has been eight grand slam semifinalist. It has been a


completely different Konta to what we saw a couple of days ago when she


played her opener. When she played that Madge, she was tight as a drum


and you could see the tension in her face. -- that match.


Don't write Makarova off just yet. There will still be a view shots


across the bow, particularly if she feels she has nothing more to lose.


The Russians still with a future ex-of her own. She's a more


confident player the doubles court. A couple of chances here to get the


immediate break back. Oh dear. A couple of doubles in the


game, I'm afraid. The initiative and momentum coming out of that breaker


very swiftly dampened down. Not entirely sure what happened there.


Well, it's been like this for the majority of the match in terms of


the wind, and she just allowed it to affect her, there.


All these constant adjustments that need to be made on court in these


conditions. No. She's trying to give it a bit


more from that end, Konta. She is up against the wind. Not easy. You've


got to be comfortable being uncomfortable out here.


That's a good response from Makarova. And she moves ahead in the


second set. How much do you think it affected her, being part of this


golden age of Russian tennis when there were so many superstars around


her? I think she's benefited from it. Naturally she is a very shy


person and not someone who likes to be in the spotlight, very


introverted. But she's been surrounded by so much class and


she's been able to learn from the very best, so I think she has been


in a privileged position throughout her career. Getting some help in


recent years from former French Open champion


Anastasia Myskina. When a lot of those players retired having babies


or whatever, she made it into the top ten. "OK, It's my turn now".


She's always had the talent and the ability but I think she's lacked the


belief. It was only last year she was able to crack the world's top


ten for the very first time, and it was a long time coming. Because she


had always been capable of causing the odd upsets, someone who has in


the past beaten Venus and Serena Williams. She was always a dangerous


player to draw. And she still can be. She would love another


Eastbourne title. She has only won two titles in her career. One of


them here six years ago. That is a positive message from


Konta. She has played that pattern of play


so well in that match will stop the server out wide and the next shot


into space. I am not sure that forehand line


from that part of the chord with the wind direction is removed Leon. You


would almost half to hit the ball cross-court to get it anywhere down


that tram. Wow! How good was that? You cannot


find an angle better than that of the return. That is world-class.


It is long. Konta is going to make a move here. Great treasure from the


British number one in front of a packed house, another sell-out. This


is some tournament, right from the first rounds, the stands have been


full. For a women's tournament, pretty special. And so is Konta this


week. Well done. Makarova 's turn to go


strong into the spaces. At no stage in this match so far has she lost


her head. She can get quite emotional out there, down on


herself. Yes, she does fret. There are a few


players like that. They sit in way of stressing on a tennis court. -- a


certain way. Makarova battling hard, coming


through the longest game in the match so far. Nudges ahead in this


second set. What is happening with Russian


tennis these days, after this wonderful golden age we were talking


about? Plenty of young players coming through. There is one in


particular who has a bright future ahead of her. We should not worry


too much about Russian tennis. I think they are doing just fine. With


or without Maria Sharapova. I get the feeling though that there are


not so many training in Russia. There are those two big clubs where


those from the past all train. Whenever you speak to them these


days, they are training in Holland or Slovakia or out in the United


States. There are just so many academies around the world. You can


take your pick and to be honest, it is wherever the money is, whoever is


prepared to sponsor them, that is where they will go, that is where


they will train and use as their base and whatever works, there is no


right or wrong. And now they know that Spartak with its one indoor


court without any heating is not maybe the finest place to train.


Spain with it's all year round sun and clay courts may be a better


option and it is a better option. It is very expensive to play tennis in


Moscow now. They take other options. Coach and agent knowing that this is


a pivotal games here. There is no doubt the coaching


switch up that Konta made a couple of years ago, it is really working


well. A great job coming on for the on court coaching just before the


end of that first set, when she was down 5-4.


Konta has shown trust and loyalty. You have had a couple of chats with


him and you are impressed. I like what I have heard from him. She has


known him for a number of years. He used to work in an academy in Texas.


And that is where they first met. Coolly done by Konta. Don't forget,


12 months ago when she played Makarova, she would be swinging with


no pressure. A very different scenario today. Against someone


ranked 20 spots below her. That body serve is a smart one for


Makarova to use, especially when it goes into that right hip of Konta


's. Alternatively, serve an ace. A clean game from Makarova. She is


still going to be a threat in this second set.


Very different expectations and workload on Johanna Konta these


days. When the rain was torrential earlier this week, she had to do


part of the launch for the new ?44 million redevelopment of the


partnership between Eastbourne Borough Council and the LTA and a


commitment now for ten more years of the tournament being here and


improved facilities. She did that in the morning and then she had what


was an all access our. The press can ask anything they want, it is a


pretty relaxed setting, all on the sofas at the media centre. Did very


well, handled everything. A few tricky questions thrown in. And then


had to go along the line for all the different interviews for all the


different networks and spent four or five hours on media duties on Monday


but that is gone to be her life now if she is good to be a top 20 and


maybe even a top ten player. Still something she is learning to


manage and balance between obviously all the training she wants to do to


maintain her level and the off court commitments.


And as little as she has wanted to give away, it has taken its toll.


Understandably. It is all sort of new for her.


Huge serving from Konta. Can she make it four in the game?


Take that. Pressure right back thrown right back at Makarova. A


serving masterclass right there. Both players have tried using that


upshot whenever they can. Konta more so. It is something you do not see


enough of on the grass court. You see at a lot on the clay but it is


just as effective on the RAS. The front of the court is so much more


lush. And if you get it right, it just dies at the front of the court.


Makarova feeling rather under the cosh here at Love- 30.


For a split second, they both thought that return was gone to


drift long but bang on the line it was.


It is wide and it is a fabulous push from Konta. And she will now serve


for a place in the semifinals. Well, she was so impressive against Petra


Kvitova. When you watch top players, you think you are going OK with them


and all of a sudden, they rack up the intensity and it is game over. I


feel like we have just seen that from John Kaunda in the last couple


of games. Yes, right there. And you could just see Makarova tightening


up. She knew it was a big Jane and was not able to come up with the


goods and that is the confidence in Konta now, the belief. She trusts


her tennis, she trusts her game. And in moments like that, she is able to


rise to the challenge. It is interesting how she talks about her


career. Only 25 years of age but she talks of it as a 17 year career,


that everything has been working towards this moment, initial


training when she grew up in Sydney in Australia, and practising in


Melbourne with tennis Australia and then the move to the Academy at 14


in Spain and then parents moving to London. It is an extraordinary


journey she has been on. Summary sacrifices made by so many. -- so


many sacrifices made. Now, can she close here?


Well, she is human on that serve after all. Really does go for it


though. Well, she has battled the elements


once again here at Eastbourne, she has battled Makarova and she has two


match points. That is wide and Konta has done it


again. Well, it was another fantastic performance from Britain's


number one, Johanna Konta. Emotionally, she did not waver. She


was able to raise her level when it really mattered and she is looking


more and more like she belongs. Did so well after a slightly shaky


start, being broken in her opening service game. And it is a third win


over Ekaterina Makarova, backing up the one from last year and the


battle they had in Melbourne in January. But never one to over


celebrate. She is resetting. She will have another much later on


against one of the biggest servers in women's tennis. The exciting


young Czech, Pliskova. Our semifinal line-up will be complete. Later on,


the one that everyone will be staying for, Pliskova against


Britain's number one, Konta. What a week she is having in the warm up to


Wimbledon. Delightful performance from Konta. There were a few bumps


on the road but she dealt with everything, took it all in her


stride. She is always great to hear from and here she is courtside.


Well played. What a victory. You are in the semifinal in your hometown.


How does that feel? That is how that feels! Oh, my goodness. Had you so


much everybody for making so much noise and I am happy I get to come


back again later today to play in front of you guys and give you


another good match. Your semiformal appointment #colourcyan opponent


will be Pliskova. What is your thoughts on that Qusair Mark it will


be bloody turf. Hopefully I will be able to play the best that I can


today and compete well. Twice in one day. How tough is that question mark


it is not as bad as you think. The adrenaline keeps you going. We will


look forward to seeing you again shortly. Ladies and gentlemen,


Johanna Konta. Well, she really is a great competitor. Don't bet against


her winning another match later on today and being in our final here


tomorrow. It seems like days ago now but on that first afternoon of the


championship we said that there had only ever been one British winner of


this event. We are getting ahead of ourselves but that was Virginia Wade


in 1975. Konta is one match away from playing in a final. In that


semifinal she will play the young Czech Pliskova, who has got a huge


serve and she won in straight sets earlier today against Vesnina. And


that was a match that was held over from yesterday and was pretty


one-sided today when they were eventually able to complete that


game and the other match that took race earlier today at was held over


from yesterday was an absolutely fantastic game of tennis. It really


was. Three sets, over three hours, between Radwanska and Cibulkova. The


diminutive Slovak with the big voice and the big heart and the two


Yorkshire terriers is through to a semifinal against Monica Puig. If


Konta is an adult book competitor, so is she. -- after that match, she


was a brilliant in her interview. Congratulations. A big win for you.


How do you assess the way that you played? Today, we have played some


matches and this was the first on grass. It was really difficult with


the conditions and with everything but I was able to manage to play


better with every game, with every rest, I came back stronger and that


is why I was happy today. I was really happy the weather forecast


looked good but it was the same for yesterday. I was really happy when I


saw the blue sky today. You have got to come back later and play your


semifinal. Monica Puig is your opponent. What are your thoughts on


that one? It is good to be a game really difficult. We played a long


match yesterday and today. I will do everything to be 100% ready for


today and to manage to be on the court ready. We will let you go and


prepare. Ladies and gentlemen, Cibulkova.


And then there were four. The next match the works like this.


-- the line-up for the semifinals looks like this. There's also


another match taking place today which is a celebrity match between


the stars of yesteryear, and there is one of them who's going to be


taking part in it. Jana Novotna will be playing in the Aegon Legends


Exhibition. She reminisced about being at Eastbourne for the first


time in a long time. It's been a few years since I've been here and it


brings back a lot of good memories. Very excited to be here especially


on a day like today. What do your member, the matches, the people? I


remember everything. It was always the highlight of my year, to come


here to Eastbourne and to have the best preparation before Wimbledon.


It took me a long time to win this tournament but when I finally did I


followed it up with winning Wimbledon. It's a walk comfortable


place walking distance from the hotel. People can get close to you.


I remember when the Henman family was running this tournament, they


made it very special. What about the people who you played with, your


great rivals, the Arrantxas of this world. Do those friendships into


your? -- do those friendships endure? It is difficult to be


friends with those people who you are competing with every week for


titles and prize money and all that, but I think we were very competitive


and of course once you're finished with your career everything almost


changes and you just naturally become friends. It's nice to see the


players on events like we have here today. When you play in Legends


events, do you say, "Remember that time I beat you 6-1, 6-2?"


Absolutely, we talk about past matches and competitions and however


thing was. It's really nice, everyone is much more relaxed and


just happy to be out there. Everyone is still involved in tennis and I


enjoy that. Every generation is obviously different and when we were


at Queen's last week I was talking to write about what tennis is like


in the 50s and 60s and the players who played in the 80s were laughing


about what he was saying. The players from the 80s, when they were


talking about what tennis was like, the people who play now were


laughing at them! How different do you think the sport is now to when


you played? Everything is different. It has changed. It's more about


physical preparation and abilities more than a tactical view of tennis.


It's almost like a team sport right now. Every player travels with a


team of people taking care of them. In my time it was only a tennis


court and they were the most important person in your life and


your career. Everything has changed, not always for better. I think there


was more personalities in the 80s and 90s. But I look at it in the way


that every generation picks something new, something different.


We cannot always have everything from the past. Tennis is moving


forward, it's all about equipment, speed, power. If we're talking about


power and this generation, this has been the Serena generation. Do you


think she can still win two or three or four more grand slams to beat


Margaret Court's total? I think she can. She's very focused and as long


as she stays healthy and fit and mentally strong like she was last


year, of course she can keep on going. It's almost the trend now,


you played your best tennis after 30 because it all comes together for


you, not only for women but for men as well. If they can stay in good


shape and they can keep up with is it physically and mentally, of


course she can do it. If she doesn't win Wimbledon, who do you think


might upset her this year? I don't know, women's tennis is so


unpredictable. Every time I look at the draw at the beginning of the


tournament and you look at a few days later, so many players get


eliminated in the top grounds. That's how it's always been. I think


the top players are the most vulnerable in the first few rounds.


Women's tennis is so unpredictable. People ask me, Jana, who is going to


win it, who is going to be in the semifinals? And being at the


tournaments myself, I have such a hard time predicting it. I guess


that makes it interesting but at the same time it's tough for spectators


to really get to know players because they are in and out all the


time. It's certainly nothing like it used to be where the same eight


players always got to the quarterfinals and then you could


kind of pick and choose who was better on the day. Nowadays tennis


is very unpredictable. But I expect Serena to do well again. Grass is


her favourite surface, Wimbledon as well. Talking about someone who was


very rarely opened his prizes, Martina Navratilova. We have a big


BBC documentary about her and her upbringing. Hers is an extraordinary


story. Do you think she is probably, possibly, the greatest woman player


of all-time? Absolutely, absolutely every time we say there is someone


else who is coming up and can do even better and even better... But


Martina was come for me, the most powerful and the most memorable


person of all time, really. She was a pioneer in many things in tennis.


The way she brought the physical fitness into women's tennis, I think


she was the first one and after that, from then on, it kind of


became all about fitness and getting fit and taking women's tennis to


another level. So she is really an icon and the most recognisable


person in women's tennis and she always will be. Great to have you


back here at Eastbourne. You're welcome every year. Thank you.


Everyone who comes in here today is getting free strawberries and cream


when they come in, did you not get yours? I didn't but I'm sure it's


waiting for me after my match! For all the sense of fun, this was a


childhood spent in post-2nd a Czechoslovakia. Europe behind the


Iron Curtain. Growing up in a communist country, you just kind of


did whatever it took. You told a bad political joke and he would go to


jail. At my childhood, up until I left, 18, I had a fantastic life


here. In the summer we swam in the river and in the winter we skated on


it, climbed peoples fences and stole that cherries and walnuts! They were


very expensive, they were more expensive per pound and kilo than


the best meat. She was just a very bouncy, happy child with exceptional


physical capabilities. We went to the river and this little girl took


a pebble and she threw it as far as we could! We said wow, this is quite


amazing! My uncle was quite a tennis player and she said -- he said she


quite amazing, we've not seen anything like that. He said she's


going to win Wimbledon before she's 20! He relieved on her. My mum was a


great athlete, she could have done anything she wanted to. She played


volleyball, she ran track. She was a great tennis player. But she


believed in me and it was like, OK, here I come, I was like ten!


Great story. Martina is part of our all-star cast at Wimbledon, starting


on Monday, which includes our new signings, Lleyton Hewitt and Jim


Courier. There are players out on court at the moment for the first of


the semifinals. This will be Dominika Cibulkova against Monica


Puig. He spoke to us a couple of days ago. I'm trying to work out


what the time zone is. It's nine o'clock in the morning, it's


breakfast in Puerto Rico. They will be watching her in action.


When I started playing tennis, a lot of people were asking me, where is


Puerto Rico? Where is it on the map? A lot of people used to confuse the


name with Portugal or Paraguay. But it's nice now when I go around the


tennis world, people know where Puerto Rico is. I'm really proud


that I've given a name for my island on this level of sport. When you go


back there, do they claim you as one of theirs? Yeah, they take a lot of


pride in their athletes. They are also very proud of all our


accomplishments, whether they are small or large. I always feel quite


at home when I go back and I have a huge amount of respect for all other


people in Puerto Rico. You spend most of your life in America. Do you


almost have dual nationality now or not? Puerto Rico is actually a US


territory, so we have the same currency and a US passport, but I


consider myself 100% Puerto Rico on. I'm really proud of where I come


from. My coach is from Argentina and my


fitness trainer is also from Argentina, but my physio is actually


French, but he does speak Spanish. A lot of Spanish going on there which


also helps me keep my roots with the Spanish up. I really like it and


sometimes I get a little bit tired of speaking English! There's also a


great debate about whether coaches should be allowed on court. Are you


in favour of that? I think it helps in a way. Tennis is a very


individual sport but it makes the match is a little more interesting.


It helps, having your coach there to help guide you a bit when you need


it the most. I usually try and call my coach out when I need some


positive reinforcement or if I really don't know what's going on. I


just really like the communication I have with my coach. Final point,


you're playing really well at the moment and you must be feeling


really good. You win qualifying and you win or the firing again, you


just keep on going. Do you feel you're on a real role at the moment?


Yeah, I feel this year has gone uphill in general. Irony proud of


myself for having come out of a pretty sloppy year last year and


being able to come into my own and find myself physically and mentally,


how there. I'm just enjoying myself at the moment and really happy with


everything I've accomplished so far. I think it's definitely helping me


win more matches and just having fun.


STUDIO , there she is going through her


warm up. We've had a lot of really high 3-set matches here at this


championship this week. Now that the weather has completely relented and


Eastbourne is looking absolutely magnificent this afternoon, let's


hope we have some matches that are in keeping with the weather. This


promises to be a really good in counter. Worth reminding you that Jo


Konta's semifinal will follow this match. We're expected to be with you


here on BBC Two until 6pm, but obviously we will make sure we're


with Jo Konta all the way through to the end of that match. Anyway, for


the moment this is the first of the semifinals of the Aegon


International for 2016. Back to Anne Keothavong and Sam Smith.


COMMENTATOR: There is almost a lull here, some fans having a time-out


after the Jo Konta match but I'm sure they will be back in very


shortly to watch two of the most likeable performers on the tour in


this semifinal. Is it really does feel very strange


sitting here, having already seen Dominika this morning, coming back


from a set and 3-1 down, 3-2 on the restart, against the top seed and


former champion Agnieszka Radwanska. Making her second appearance here at


Devonshire Park. Puig had a very different Thursday. Played first up


and played very well against Kristina Mladenovic on her debut


here. You can put your feet up for the rest of the day and watch


everyone else pays around, waiting to play.


Yes, she worked her way through the qualifying rounds. She is 22, full


of beans and having a great week here.


What is Cibulkova facing here? A player who is similar to herself in


many ways. Someone who has very big strikes from the back of the court.


It will be a battle between these two as to who gets the first big


strike in. Both women out here have fantastic


attitudes towards their tennis, they really backed themselves. Highly


competitive. You give Cibulkova the edge when it


comes to energy, she is just a bundle of energy. She won't be fazed


about the fact that she played a match earlier today. I don't think


it would have taken too much out of her physically coming into this


match. Fitness never really an issue for the Slovak.


Had a draining day yesterday, didn't she, on and off against Radwanska.


They didn't cancel the match until 7pm yesterday evening. She was out


here yesterday evening but now the wind has really got up and I just


wonder how she will handle it. APPLAUSE


So, Cibulkova safely through that opening service game. I should


mention it's a first meeting between these two. Even though Puig is a


qualifier, she's not exactly a slouch in terms of the ranking, it's


just a very strong draw here. Ranked 43 in the world and 20 on the


ranking list compiled from tournaments this year. Cibulkova


down at 21, a former top ten player, making her way very much back up the


rankings after an injury break. Puig, top junior in her time. Very


dangerous in this semifinal. APPLAUSE


Well, she has certainly picked up where she left off. She's just got a


naturally aggressive mindset on the tennis court. Always looking to


pounce on everything, take the ball on the rise, constantly take time


away from her opponent. And I think Cibulkova will enjoy


this match a lot more than she did against Radwanska stop she won't


have too generic as much pace herself, because Puig hits a really


heavy shot. There are some match-ups you like and some you would rather


steer well clear of. Puig in a spot, here.


Is a lot of grass court tennis over the last few weeks, semifinalists is


up in Nottingham and then flew over to Mallorca for a match there.


Plenty of tennis this week, having started Eastbourne well over a week


ago. Pretty feisty character, wears a


very determined look under that headband.


Well, I wonder where the Monica Puig has looked ahead to Wimbledon or


whether someone has told her about the draw. Her coach, in the middle


of your picture. Used to work for the USTA.


APPLAUSE If you haven't seen the Wimbledon


draw, Monica Puig takes on Britain's Johanna Konta in the first round, at


Wimbledon, in a couple of days, and they might meet in the final here.


It's not unheard of. Just the second time Dominika has


made it down to the south coast. Lost last year in the third round to


Svetlana prolong Nice opening to this sunny final, no


brakes so far. -- this semifinal. Whenever we talk about Cibulkova, us


in the media... Bus in the media sometimes I think


make too much of her what we would say is a lack of stature. She is


five foot three. I've lost my metric equivalent, I'm sure you have it


somewhere there... But it doesn't seem to faze her at all. One metre


61. It doesn't seem to faze her at all. Why is she able to compete


against Sony players who are almost 6-foot Amazons? Despite her height


and her power, it's not something she lacks... She has a credible for


work moves so well around the court, reads the play well and she makes up


for it in so many other ways in terms of her lack of height. She's


got fantastic spirit. She backs herself. But it's her footwork, her


willingness to take the ball on the rise, which you don't associate a


lot with smaller players. Her timing off both wings is superb. That's


plenty, isn't it! She just never stops moving!


Just wonder if there will be any variety in this match? There was


plenty of that for Cibulkova when she was up against Radwanska, all


sorts of different spins and changes of pace from Radwanska for her to


deal with. Nicely done, Puig in contrast is a


lot more one-dimensional but when it all comes together it is explosive


tennis. Yes it might be up to Cibulkova to provide the variety out


here. Don't mess with Monica. Named after


Monica Seles but her idol growing up was Jennifer Capriati and you can


see a few similarities with the ball striking.


It's so breezy on court, not much margin for Monica Puig. Yes, she is


just going to ignore the wind and get through it.


You know what you're going to get from Monica Puig, she is going to


stand up on that baseline or as close to it as possible, stand and


strike into the spaces. See ball, hit ball. Yeah, it's not rocket


science. Cibulkova just about maintaining her


dominance on the baseline. No brakes so far in these opening five games.


Once again, my single word of Slovakian which means all key would


be quite insignificant with that little chat. -- which means OK. One


of the longer coach, player partnerships on tour. Played a


significant role in her win over Radwanska earlier on Centre Court.


First time that these two have played, so the coach has had 20


minutes to look at Puig, what would your check list beaver Cibulkova? I


don't think she deviates from what she did earlier against Radwanska.


Game plans don't change drastically from match to match, you play to


your strengths as a player. Yes it's a different type of opponents,


different game style to adjust to. But ultimately you play to your


strengths and whenever the coach does come on for on court coaching


what a player is looking for is positive reinforcement.


That is a lovely change-up from Cibulkova. She uses that drop shot


well, did it against Radwanska and it's a smart move against Puig who


is less comfortable moving forward than she is side to side on that


baseline. We thought she might be the one to provide the variety and


she is rewarded here with a couple of break points.


Cibulkova has got to make sure she just stands strong when she is


pushed out into the corners or pushed back behind the baseline. It


is a heavy strike from Puig but Cibulkova has just got to make sure


she doesn't stand up on the strikes. Stays low to the ground. Use her leg


strength. That's good enough! More than good.


Cibulkova is the first to break. Little look over at her team,


everyone has a team these days, I can imagine what it costs to run


these teams. $35,000 already earned this week but that will double up to


70,000 for making the final. That will help cover the food and hotel


bill for the team. I think we might have to put some


stones in her pockets just to stop blowing away! She's got quite a high


ball toss, Cibulkova and in these conditions it can prove troublesome.


Little look over towards her team from Puig after the error. She's got


to keep going for it, that's what got her to this stage in the


tournament. If it is there to be hit, go for it. If yourself a bit


more margin but don't back off. Since there is a rather luscious


competitor lying beneath Monica Puig. Behind that sunny exterior --


a rather for raw chefs competitor -- ferocious competitor.


The Slovak with the upper hand out here. A lot of experience in her


favour. She takes a 5-2 lead in the opening set. Unsurprisingly the


coach for Puig is now on. Fast language for Monica is Spanish,


the other is Argentinian. -- first language. Much more comfortable


speaking in her native tongue. Bake pep talk from the coach. Hasn't


played badly in the opening half an hour against for opponents but


finding herself struggling to stay in this first set.


What happens on that second serve? She doesn't get any kick on it.


Never that much margin. The second serve is a slower version of the


first. It's an area she could definitely improve on.


On her second serve she doesn't quite, she doesn't have the ability


to get under the ball, to wrap the racket head around it to produce


kick. It's either a flat or a sliced serve.


Oh dear. Just overcooked it. Maybe caught the site of Cibulkova just


out of the corner of her eye. All of a sudden this game has turned rather


nasty on her and Cibulkova has set point. It's all gone wrong for the


youngster. Cibulkova takes the opening set to 6-2.


What a great reaction. You simply cannot give more. That's it! The


waiting is over! That is way too good. That's it! That bit, she has


done it! The Queen on Centre Court. How lucky we are in this sport to


have so many great champions. All eyes will be on Serena Williams in a


couple of days' time, just to see if she can equal the 22 Grand Slams of


Steffi Graf and put her name even higher up, if possible, even more


prominently in the history books. So much to look forward to. Cibulkova


to start the second. What do you want to see from Puig in


the second set? It would be easy to say that it would be nice to see


Monica Puig mix it up a little bit more but that's not something which


comes naturally to her. But I mean, some of these messes


from Puig are not even close. Go back to basics, middle of the court


with depth is just as effective. I guess when you all have one or two


dimensions and they are going wrong you don't have anywhere else to go


and that is where she is at the moment. Cibulkova running a tight


ship at the moment. See? There you go, straight through


the middle, hard, with depth. You are hired! It's such an effective


shot. If in doubt... Important point here for Puig, good start to this


second set. Cibulkova looking very comfortable


in this first semifinal. You have to give credit to Cibulkova because she


has just been relentless. She has applied the pressure throughout,


right from the start. And Puig just feels she has to do more than is


necessary out here. I just don't think Puig believe she


can find a way through Cibulkova. The conditions, sadly, fever


Cibulkova who is the more experienced of the two. Yes, it's


starting to sure isn't it? Puig very much looking the junior partner out


here. Hasn't been on tour that long. Apparently at the end of last season


she gave herself a really good talking to after what she called a


sloppy year. Had a bit of a bit camp of a pre-season, going into 2016 and


her best tennis came out early, qualified and made the final down in


Sydney down in January. Cibulkova doing her best to get into


Puig's head on the return. Her feet just don't stop moving, Cibulkova.


Puig doing a good job here. Fabulous. She's in really good touch


this week, Cibulkova. Looking here for yet another break. A third


consecutive break of the Puig served.


UMPIRE: Miss Cibulkova is challenging the call... What did you


say? Is challenging the serve on the right side. The ball was called in.


CHUCKLES That's all very strange! Back at


deuce. She has come out here in such good


touch, you just wonder if that set and a half she had here against


Radwanska was the perfect June up. -- tune pup.


Puig looking rather lost here. This has all gone rather quickly.


I'm just trying to imagine last year when she had that surgery,


Cibulkova, on her left Achilles, and was out of four months... As soon as


she had shaken off the anaesthetic, she must have driven everyone who


was looking after her completely mad! You're supposed to rest and


take it easy, I can't imagine... She's not trigger that resting! They


might have pinned her to the sofa with a box set. -- she's not very


good at resting. An forced errors really just racking


up for Puig. Cibulkova doing such a good job here of managing her own


game, just keeping this match taking over. -- ticking over.




Clean finishing, and the intensity never drops. How much she would love


to be back in the top ten as she was a couple of years ago. Being back in


the top ten at a premiere event would do her the world of good.


Just one title this year for Cibulkova. It came in Katowice,


Poland. She's not a prolific winner of titles but must felt she was on


the comeback trail. Seven games in a row now for the


Slovak. Looks as if she is hurtling towards her first Eastbourne final.


Critical times here for Monica Puig, who has had such a tough week,


coming through the qualifier but needed a lot of positive


reinforcement there. She looks a rather lost figure on this


Devonshire Park Centre Court. Magnificent court, future -- huge


width. Yes, she made it!


APPLAUSE Somewhat of a swipe. Lovely move


forward. She needs something here, doesn't she come to stop this run of


games against her. When her coach came on at the change


of ends, she had quite a go at her and told her off for not using her


feet and going up the court, all the things she supposed to be doing and


hasn't been doing. Her route to the semifinals here,'


Monica Puig has not faced anyone with the weight of shot that


Cibulkova has. She's being rushed a lot more. Also you have to take into


account the windy conditions. You have to exaggerate your footwork


even more so to be in the right position.


Yes, this has been the windiest day we've had this week so far. I'm not


sure what it was like in qualifying but I know it was pretty overcast


and calm but wetter conditions. That's what it's all about, playing


at Eastbourne. APPLAUSE


Too good, too much experience. Cibulkova continues her race towards


the final. It will be a good day's work for her, won't it? All done


before tea-time! Yes, she should be quite pleased with herself. She's


performed to a very high level today. You would expect nothing less


when it comes to intensity and energy that she brings onto the


tennis court. When it comes to attitude, she's up there in my top


five of all the female players. Talk about someone who makes the most of


her abilities. When she does eventually hang up her racket, you


can guarantee she won't have left any stone unturned and she will have


no regrets, because she really has maximised everything that she's got.


Who is number one for you, in tens of attitude? Good question. Or


anyone in your top five. Well... Venus Williams is up there. Do


everything, she's going strong. Cibulkova, I could even put her as


my number one because I just, I love her energy, I really do. It's


something that fans picked up on around the world. When she made the


final of the Austrlian Open a couple of years ago down in Melbourne, they


absolutely fell in love with her. An amazing effort.


It's a real shame for Puig. Not comfortable in this matchup. Even


her base game which has been so good this week just falling apart here in


front of our eyes. Oh dear. All going horribly wrong.


It's often the way, when you feel like you're not quite seeing the


ball is big, you feel like you're being rushed, you try to do


something extra special. It's not a good feeling for Monica Puig.


-- the Puerto Rican getting a lot of support out there. I think the fans


out on Centre Court would love to give her a helping hand.


Oh! You can hear the effort! It's just one blow after another, isn't


it? Come on, she says. She has been


magnificent out here. And Monica Puig, who earlier this week had a


win over Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one, just


looking outclassed in this company. Cibulkova serving for a place in


tomorrow's final. Today, her game has been in tiptop


order. You never doubt that energy, commitment or attitude. Everything


coming right here in this semifinal. OK, there has been the odd clip here


and there! We will let her off. -- the odd blip.


Puig just has been able to capitalise on any of her


opportunities. That was her first break point opportunity in the


match, would you believe? There is a lot that Puig can learn from this


match. UMPIRE: Miss Puig is challenging the


call. The call -- the ball was called out. Why not? You're kind of


bullying for her here, aren't you? But the expression says it all, it's


been a tennis lesson. -- you're kind of pulling for her. Match point.


It's a Cibulkova special. Another fantastic performance from Dominika


Cibulkova. Outplayed and outsmarted her younger opponent. Really showed


her who is boss, out there. And after an amazing week when she


came through qualifying to reach the semifinals, please show your


appreciation for Monica Puig! I think Monica will be back better and


stronger next year. Popular the world over, she is a special


character, a special player. It was a pretty relaxing afternoon for the


team, not so much this morning when she had to resume a set and a


breakdown against beef top seed and former champion Agnieszka Radwanska,


but Cibulkova doing such a professional job out here against a


player she had never met before. Cibulkova, after all the dramas of


last year with the operation, the time-out, a ranking fell down and


she nearly fell out of the world's top 50. She has had to work her way


back and she has done it in style, in just her second visit to


Eastbourne. Not really known as a grass court player but you certainly


wouldn't know it out here today. Tremendous performance from


Dominika. We're going to hear from her now. She's with Chilton.


Dominika, many congratulations. Have you ever had a better day on a grass


court? No, I would say this is my best they on a grass court.


Extremely happy. I was just playing so well, I was really confident


after this morning's win. She was really tough to play against. I was


able to compete with her today and I was better, so I'm really, really


happy. It's not long since we spoke to you following your victory over


Radwanska. How did you spend the time in between? I didn't have much


time, you know? I went to the ice asked for a while and then I had


lunch and then I had to go to warm up! It was a really, really quick


one. The final tomorrow, it will be discovered or -- it will be Pliskova


or Konta. We will see. I don't like the choose opponents. But it was my


best performance on grass court, so I'm really happy.


Dancing, skipping, or the couch to 5k. We will help you set realistic


personal goals. Let's hope Jo Konta can make a move


into the final. If she needs any confidence it can come from her


performance against a double Wimbledon champion. All eyes on


Konta. Oh yes, Konta is the first to break.


She takes the opening set 7-5. Come on, you can do it. Kvitova maintains


control of this matchup. What I competitor she is, Konta


levels to take this match into a deciding set.


Can you believe it? Konta 3-0, double break. Pressure piling up.


Konta heading towards the quarterfinals.


What a way to finish! Konta is back in the quarters at Devonshire Park.


It almost seems like ancient history now, she won her quarterfinal and


her semifinal is coming up very soon. The draw has been made for


Wimbledon. Jo Konta energised by being the first British seed for 32


years, she will be seeded 16 and I think the energy might have seeped


out of our when she saw the draw because her first-round opponent is


Monica Puig who we've just seen an action.


Actually, as I draw for your first Wimbledon seeding, you might think


you would be better being unseeded or wildcard. It is tough. I am not


sure if she has looked into it as much depth as we have because


knowing heart she is just focused on today's match. Right here, right now


and the rest will take care of itself. We have some live pictures


of Jo Konta who is about to walk onto court. First of all it's far


opponent from the Czech Republic. You might not have seen too much of


Pliskova but she has got a big serve. It's going to be a battle of


the serving game. Please welcome Johanna Konta! APPLAUSE


CHEERING We will talk plenty about Jo in just


a second but for the rest of the Wimbledon draw which was made from


the British women's point of view, they haven't actually had the best


of luck with the names coming out of the hat, Heather Watson playing


Annika Beck of Germany. That is a game she can win.


As far as the men are concerned Andy Murray plays Liam Brodie, it is


extraordinary at Queen's last week we were talking about him playing


high as bed Marcus Willis is Dell playing


qualifying today so we might have another British man in that line-up.


-- is still playing. That's the potential writ for and they should


things go according to the seedings. When you look at our line-up like


that, already you are salivating because it truly exciting? It's so


exciting and I believe you'll Andy Murray can do it again this year. As


in win it? Why not? Great clay-court season, played well at Queen's,


well-prepared, why not? What is almost the most interesting thing in


the draw is the quarter that Raonic has been drawn in, in Novak


Djokovic's quarterfinal section, is there anybody for you outside of


Djokovic and Andy Murray who could win? You can't write off somebody


like Roger Federer, he is still a classy performer. It depends on his


injury, how his body is feeling but on the grass at Wimbledon you have


to use a Roger Federer is in the mix regardless of how much tennis he has


played recently. Plenty of chat about that from Monday onwards but


let's go to this match coming up with Jo Konta. We can look at the Jo


Konta Makarova match from earlier. What did you make of her


performance? I thought it was a rock solid performance in tricky


conditions. Our defence was great, the variety in her game has improved


so much in the past 12 months. She is using the sliced backhand so much


more effectively, particularly on the grass and she is not overplaying


anything. And the backhand which has always been a strength of hers has


just opened up the court, created plenty of opportunities. As well as


the forehand, which is rock-solid these days. I just think the fact


that she believes in her game, trusts herself, is able to go for


the shots and raise her level at tight stages in the match is


something of significance. I know it's the same for both players but


yesterday was a frustrating day for everybody with the thunderstorms


which meant nobody was ever sure if this match would get on court and Jo


got off to a pretty wretched start but the way she composed herself and


was absolutely calm throughout, that is one of her great strengths. She


says it time and again, she doesn't allow herself to get too high or too


low about anything, if she can keep her temperament and level, she knows


she has the game to heart these players. She has beaten Makarova


before this match, in their two previous meetings they were tight


but she knows she has the ability to her these players. It's her second


Match of the Day because that match took place only a couple of hours


ago but it wasn't our 3-set gruelling match physically and


mentally which will have taken too much out of her you would think? No,


fitness, I don't doubt her at all. She's in peak condition so I don't


think physically it will have had too much effect. Actually I think it


will have helped her going into this next match. You could say the same


thing about Cibulkova, she had a really tough match but she was on


it. When she was playing against Puig who had not played for ages it


benefited her having been on the court saw recently as opposed to


having a day off. Think of it as an extended warm up. These players are


well prepared these days but Pliskova also had to finish her


match earlier today am a different court and conditions than what we


saw earlier. One or two people did take time out to have an ice cream


or whatever else it might be because it's fantastic weather here but they


are back in force for a packed house to see Jo Konta play in the


semifinal and hopefully get through to a final tomorrow. It's worth


repeating these things because Andy Murray is rewriting the history


books all the time but only one British woman has ever won


Eastbourne, that was virgin you weighed 41 years ago. The history


books are against Jo but they are there to be rewritten. How do you


assess this kind of game? It will be tough, Pliskova has plenty of


confidence. She has a big game and will be unpredictable so Konta will


have to be sharp with her footwork and serve well. Here we go, second


semifinal for the right to play Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinal.


Back to Sam Smith. -- in the final. COMMENTATOR: Not often onto you how


play two matches in one day. But to contact as lean and conditioned as


anyone out there. -- but contact she has already seen off one big


hitting big serving Czech, and now there is another in the form of


Karolina Pliskova. Ranked just one spot above horror on the WTA


rankings, former top ten player. -- above


Karolina one of the twin sisters who play on tour. She is the


right-hander. If you were not with us earlier,


conditions out on Centre Court are treacherous. It is a wind tunnel at


the moment, may be dropped slightly from when Joel was last out here.


Konta starting in style. Sure she has felt a lot of pressure here this


week as the 11 seed coming in for the first time as a top 20 player.


But just maybe she can swing a little more freely in this matchup


because she has some history with Pliskova which goes back five years.


They have played each other on four occasions and Pliskova has come


through victorious on all of them. But three of the four of those


matchups going the distance. They played earlier this year in India --


Indian Wells. 6-3 in favour of Pliskova in the decider.


So much is expected of Pliskova back home, she has had a pretty


comfortable week so far. Her match against Vesnina finished


over on Court One just a few hours ago.


Nicely done. Pliskova showing off a few of her skills. Pretty handy on


the double scored as well, plays with her twin sister, they are both


over six foot tall, a formidable pairing.


No sign of nerves. Both women safely on the board in this second


semifinal. Grew up about an hours drive north west of Prague. Her and


her sister originally wanted to play basketball but they were too small


so were not allowed. So their dad got them on the tennis court.


So important for Konta to hold comfortably, a break could be very


expensive against one of the biggest servers in women's tennis.


Really composed start from Jo. She's got a massive hit here in Pliskova.


Didn't realise actually it's the third time a have played on grass,


Pliskova has won all the previous meetings so what does Jo have to get


right today that she hasn't in the past? She has to be able to hold her


nerve when it really matters. You won't get too many opportunities on


the Pliskova serve so that's why it is so keen to make her play as many


balls as possible. Put as many returns back into play as possible.


She can get sloppy with her footwork and she can give you more than a few


loose shots. It's recognising those moments and capitalising on them.


She is a rather tall and willowy young women, 24 years of age. Her


movement and footwork has been suspect in the past and it will be


fascinating to see if Konta can exploit it in what has turned into


the loveliest afternoon at Devonshire Park. This is what you


imagine on the drive down, what you hope you will get. The fans here


getting a real treat, big screens in other areas of the park so if they


only have grown and pass the can still keep their eye on this match.


-- they may have grown and oh no! She had all the time in the


world. Great example right there, when the


distribution is good from the other side she can look a step slower.


It is up there with Serena Williams, serve. Such simple motion. You don't


have to worry too much about moving when you have a delivery that she


has. Konta this week matching the


performance of Heather Watson here two years ago by making the last


four. And as good a year she has had,


making lots of fourth rounds and quarterfinals on tour, this is her


first semifinal saw her best week on tour, if you take out the Australian


Open run. That is how well she has played this week in Eastbourne. I


suspect in the years to come this will be a place that Jo Konta will


always perform well, in her hometown of Eastbourne. Quarterfinalist here


last year. Falling to the eventual champion. Konta very comfortable


behind her service games. Pliskova very quick to go to the on court


coaching. A lot of information. Former player


himself, has worked for a long time with Karolina. Took her from a very


promising player on tour and the Czech's really started to take


notice of her when she started working with him. Made a massive


improvement couple of years ago. Her coach just telling her to stay


positive, keep going for your service. Play your game and get her


moving. Your Czech has come on! My sister-in-law is Slovakian.


Slovakian and Czech, very similar. Normally we are counting the ACs for


Pliskova, she is just one shy of hundred for this season, a couple


beers ago she had over 500. And that is 300, well done. Such an


easy delivery isn't it? Smooth motion, no kinks in the server.


There never has been for as long as I have known her. -- in the serve.


Fairly eventful opening six games so far.


She has got the advantage of playing earlier today on this court. She


will have a good feel for the wind, which is pretty much behind her, but


blowing from left to right as you look down the court, over her left


shoulder. Pretty much in the direction that


serve just went. Pliskova was on Court 1 beating


former champion, Elena Vesnina - very different conditions the other


side of the West Stand. Konta doing a good job taking the


pace off Pliskova's strikes. Familiar sight at Eastbourne and,


apparently, modelled on Virginia Wade's serve. And accurate? I think


so. This is top notch from Konta. Has


barely dropped a point behind her serve in this set.


UMPIRE: New balls, please. Her Spanish coach is a top man.


There is nothing to change. When the ball is coming, most of the time


when she is in trouble, but give her different looks. Other than that,


when you are in not in great positions, go to the middle and the


ball is moving because of the wind, it is coming at you a bit too fast,


go to the middle and start all over again. So those two things to keep


in mind, OK? OK in there? That's all. Give her different looks, in


the middle. He is not based in Barcelona where so many of the


academies are. His place in north-western Spain which is a


gorgeous venue to train in the mountains, wonderful for fitness,


and he built much of his coaching career working with Roberto Bautista


Agut, one of the top Spanish players. He is a credential coach,


as they like to say. UMPIRE: New balls.


New balls, Pliskova 3-4 on serve. UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging


the ball on the right baseline. The ball was called out.


Call stands. 15-0. Miss Konta has two challenges remaining. Oops!


Makes it look rather easy, doesn't she? She answers a love service game


with one of her own. Really is impressive. Karolina Pliskova has


five titles on Tour so far. Burst into the top ten mid-way through


last year. Back at 17 now. Not sure why that is. Has a great game.


Couldn't hold it at the top table. UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging


the call on the left baseline. The ball was called out.


The call stands. 15-0. Miss Pliskova has two challenges remaining.


UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging the call on the right centre service


line. The ball was called out. It was an immediate challenge from


Konta so it must have felt good to her. It wasn't. The call stands.


Second serve. Another massive second serve.


UMPIRE: Game, Miss Konta. Konta ahead 5-4. Miss Konta leads


5-4, first set. Miss Konta has one challenge remaining.


Karolina Pliskova comes from an extraordinary family. She won the


juniors down in Australia six years ago and a year later, her sister won


the Wimbledon title. That is pretty special. Her father very much the


driving force behind their careers, and they started at four. There was


a tennis club nearby and they had four one-hour lessons a week - that


is a lot at four. That is a lot. I think I was allowed to play for half


an hour, or once per week. That was mini tennis. At ten, he moved them


to Germany where there was a really good Czech coach and they stayed


there for a couple of years before moving back to the Republic, so it


has been pretty much a lifelong career choice. When both of them


came on to the scene, everyone expected her twin sister to be the


better of the two. She is the lefty. Yes. She's equally talented, but


it's been Karolina who has pushed through. She works that bit harder


than her twin. Playing for the right to meet Dominika Cibulkova. We do


have summer in England these days! Pliskova serving to stay in this


first set. You start to question whether


Pliskova has got the consistency of the ground to match Konta.


Pliskova was let off the hook there. A levelling up. Never a terribly


demonstrative character, is she? When she does flip out, the racket


gets a bit of a beating! I have seen her work her way through a number of


rackets. Intensity isn't something Pliskova


possesses, when you think of her style of play and her footwork in


the points. Really good adjustment steps from


Konta because Pliskova was giving her nothing. Sometimes those balls


with no pace can be quite awkward to play against.


Just dropped five points behind her serve in this entire set.


Impressive. A very disciplined service game from


Konta. I sense she is the one in control out here.


We have been talking about her improvement, not just in terms of


the ranking, she was 146 in the world last year, now she is 18. She


will probably go up a few spots on Monday's rankings. She is the 16th


seed at Wimbledon next week. Where do you think Jo's game - we talked


about how well she's done over the last 12 months - what more can she


get out of herself? She is on the right path working towards the


world's top ten here. She's got the game. She's got the weapons. She


just needs to produce everything on a more consistent basis. I mean, you


said it earlier this, is her first semifinal since the Australian Open.


Particularly in the last few weeks, there haven't been a lot of wins. I


put that down to some of the demands that have come off court... Because


of the success? Because of the success. It is still something she


needs to get used to, something she needs to manage very carefully.


UMPIRE: Time. The pressure is right back on the


Czech. Pliskova serving to stay in this opening set.


The one thing Konta could do on the returns is just threaten the


Pliskova second serve a bit more. I mean, her first serve is big, but


the second serve is in the 80s and Konta can get herself further up the


court on the baseline, if not inside the baseline, to take it on.


She is not threatening it from where she is standing at the moment.


A lot of the players on Tour that have taken on Pliskova talk about


the first serve and how it explodes off the court. She is so call and it


comes down at a steep angle, like Venus Williams.


If in doubt, go straight through the middle!


UMPIRE: Game, Miss Pliskova. 6-6, first set. Tie-break. Each player is


now receiving one additional challenge.


A sense of deja vu here. A few hours ago she was in an opening-set


tie-break against Ekaterina Makarova. This is the third she has


played this week. She has a very good record in breakers, unlike


Pliskova this year. Konta did a great job of closing the


net down. Good court positioning. Good change-ups there from Konta


once again. Using the slice effectively. When she can, she steps


in and really drives that backhand through the court.


Fantastic defence from Konta, but Pliskova paying the price for bit


too tentative on the drive volley. She wants to stay in that bubble and


almost block things out, but surely this crowd is driving her on here.


A sloppy moment from Pliskova. I don't think you can afford that


against someone as disciplined and meticulous as Johanna Konta. Too


many breaks now. Are we taking it all back about her


footwork and defensive skills? She was using those long limbs to great


effect there. A double mini break advantage very


quickly snuffed out. There hasn't been a single


break-point or break of serve in this opening set. It's been so


tight. Konta, though, with a chance to close it out now.


A brilliant breaker from Konta! She takes the opening set 7-6.


What an exceptional finish to that first set tie-break. Everything


coming thick and fast for Jo now. Wimbledon in a few days' time and


then in the heart of the summer, she will be heading down to Rio.


Jessica Ennis-Hill is back on top of the world. Nicola Adams has made


history! That is a huge jump. Laura Trott - World Champion. Mo Farah,


streaking away! I don't know about you that I will


be camped out in front of my TV for those three weeks. I get goose bumps


watching those trailers. For me the Olympics was definitely a career


highlight, being part of the British team and it will be for Jo Konta as


well, part of the Olympic team for the first time. She had residency,


her parents and herself came over from Australia when she was 14 years


of age, it was a long haul with all the visas and lawyers and form


filling. Had a lot of support from the LTA for all those years. Yes,


they backed her before she received her British passport. She was able


to still access funding towards her coaching. She will be heading down


there along with Heather Watson, the Murray brothers as well. But first


she has an Eastbourne semifinal to deal with and Pliskova to start the


second set. Whatever works. Doesn't always have


to be at the middle of the racket. Secure opening service game, just


what the Czech needed. You did say things would get kicked about. Told


you. She may have won the first game of the second set but she is still


fuming about that tie-break. Going back to it, how well did Konta use


the drop shot? Brilliantly. The front proposition in the second set,


serving second so playing catch up. That's never easy. Been on court for


just under an hour. Contour just on her guard, aware


that she cannot afford a scruffy service game, still celebrating that


first set. Pliskova has a very dangerous weapon she brings to the


court for every mac should -- Konta just on her guard.


When I watched Jo Konta play now I just find it quite incredible that


she comes up with points like that. The way she uses the drop shot, the


feel she has on court now. A couple of years ago it wasn't part of a


game. -- part of her game. If you asked her to play drop shots


and lobs of the volley, she was always, there was always too much


tension in her body to play shots like that. Now she is able to


control it better. She can play tennis like that.


Routine isn't it. Just one point lost behind serve in the second set.


No brakes so far in the match. Pliskova does rather like to play up


the court. There is a lot going on. She's not too keen on being pulled


out wide, at the end of her range. Hardly winning any points when she


is dragged out to the extremities of the court and that is something you


are talking about earlier, that if you push into the corners and play


with width she can look a little cumbersome. She goes for a quick


fix, something which isn't quite born, when you're able to get her on


the move, it's not percentage tennis when you describe her game. Even at


24 still a long way from her physical peak. I don't think she has


any more growing to do but still think she can fill out in that


frame. Doesn't like to hang around. Always


first out of the chair. Amazing to see this week, how tough


she has been in all the tricky situations. She lost early in


Nottingham and up at Birmingham last week. And the first round of the


French Open as well, so is a little low on confidence coming in here.


Has to be careful not to overplay the drop shots. It's taken just over


the hour for the first break points of the match and they go to


Pliskova. There is the break. Big push from


Pliskova early on in the second set. Maybe after all the investment


earlier today on court for Konta and in that opening set break, maybe a


little dip in concentration and intensity. It's understandable. It


had to come somewhere didn't it? Right into the hitting zone of


Konta. And immediate response from the


British number one. Oh no. This she OK? As long as she's


weight-bearing she's all right but the first thing is it just jars you.


It's the shock of going down but I think she's all right. Nothing


turned. Or if it did it came back straightaway. She's all right.




Utterly ruthless. Eight aces now for the Czech.


Oh, that is good, that is really good from Pliskova. Made that look a


lot easier than it was because the ball is moving away from her.


Five points in a row for Pliskova, she extends her lead. 4-1 in the


second set for the world number 17. Do you want me to call the physio?




I think someone has been taken ill in the crowd on the West stand.


You are almost there. Can you just stay there for a while?


Understandably the players are just going to be held. If you have just


joined us, someone has been taken rather ill in the crowd on the West


stand. Distressing for the players and a lot of the fans here on Centre


Court as well. You have to be patient. You are working well,


you're playing well. Keep trying. OK? Otherwise you put too much


pressure on yourself. It's not fully in your control. Other than that...


These are the scenes down from the commentary box, pleased to say that


help has arrived. I need to step in and actually lean on it. I don't


think there is one thing in particular. The more confidence you


gain, the more things... Maybe it is the way I am hitting it, my


intention? I think your intention is right. We have to give some credit


to her, she serves well. OK? You are doing a good job.


A pretty extensive change of ends, pleased to say that the woman was


taken out, couldn't quite see but has gotten help and hopefully will


be feeling a lot better shortly. It's been taken care of. Back to the


match, Konta one break down in the second set having taken the first.


Both players settling down. Full focus very much back on this match,


Konta with the job to do. Had amassed a fall in the previous game,


didn't need the trainer on but was very emotional at the change of ends


when her coach came on. I think he has calmed her down. Each to hold


here. -- needs to hold here. It's quite bizarre, that last change


of ends, full-blown tears from Konta. She looked really distressed.


He asked if she needed the physio and she said she didn't and she


appears to be moving well. Good resected from the British


number one. Very important hold of serve midway through the second set.


How do you go about breaking Pliskova? Her coach mentioned at the


first time he came on. Midway through the first set. You have got


to give your opponent a different work on the returns. -- different


work. Well played. Even more so when you are up against the big server.


Just a way to get into their head. You can do that by just where you


stand on the court, will you stand to receive serve.


Just caught a line. This is very much favoured shot, the backhand


crosscourt. The last 20 minutes so have been


really impressive run Pliskova, cleaning up some of those on forced


errors in her baseline game. Looks really set now in the second.


The 10th seed extends her lead and Konta will have two serve to stay in


this second set. Not quite sure what's come over this


match in the last ten minutes so, it's gone very flat. The crowd gone


quiet. The crowd have gone quiet because of the scorer lying. There


was a slight dip in intensity from Konta. That you have to remember


that first set was played at such a high level from her, she was right


on it, we could hear her back in herself, shouting out come on. It


doesn't take much, a slight dip in concentration at this level, two or


three points go against you and suddenly you have been broken. The


momentum shifts. Especially against this type of opponent, doesn't


exactly expend a lot of energy in the way that she plays. Konta a much


more physical player, in wonderful shape. I just wonder if all be


hanging around from last night and the week generally might have caught


up with her? Certainly needs a rebooked. -- reboot.


Konta serving to stay in this second set.


UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging the call on the right service line.


The ball was called in. The call stands.


Not the most convincing challenge when you move over to the other side


of the court after making it. That is heavy striking from


Pliskova. She produces a lot of easy power.


She is enjoying the quick court now. Conditions have hardened up through


the course of this week. It is just the one break in this


second set. But Pliskova looks good for it. Maybe Konta getting some


investment in ready for the third. Just dragged it. There is a little


dip here from Pliskova. I wonder if Konta can take full advantage.


Remember, just the one break in this second set. And the only one of the


match. I make that her first double of the


second set. A set that looks far from over now. Konta had three


break-points a couple of games ago. She's got two more here on the


Pliskova serve. Sometimes you have to say too good.


Yeah. When she is on song, no-one will want to play her in the


Wimbledon draw over the next fortnight.


These break-point opportunities Konta has had in this set, you can't


say she's done an awful lot wrong. Pliskova has been able to rise to


the challenge and has come up with the goods when it's mattered.


Very cool. You have to admire her, turning around the disappointment of


losing that opening set breaker. She made quite a few silly mistakes, and


she has the chance now to take this into a final set. Pliskova wraps it


up in style and she takes the second set 6-3.


STUDIO: It is very easy from off the court and watching matches, but how


much did that fall, not just disrupt her rhythm, but disrupt her


mentality as well? The fact that she was very emotional at the change of


ends, sitting there at 5-2 - the fall came after she had been broken,


and she had three break-points back. It really did upset her whole


mentality out there. Here is where she slipped. It happens. I don't


think she hurt herself too badly and the next two points, Pliskova served


two aces, so what can you do about that? Yes. This fall I think shook


her up a little bit. If she did feel any tweak or anything, she would


have called the physio on immediately. I don't think since


then it's affected her movement. She is still moving around the court


very well. But Konta, yes, definitely shaken and disappointed


more than anything not to capitalise on those break-point opportunities.


You made the point, Sam, that it's been a long week for her on and off


court, with lots of media requirements in the build-up to


Wimbledon because she's going to be seeded 16, the first British woman


to be seeded in three decades. Pliskova has just turned up, played,


won, gone home. And so has not had any of the extra things to deal


with? There is something in that. It is all new for Jo. She's got


Wimbledon on Monday. She's got the media day on Sunday, whatever


happens here. And maybe sometimes these emotions just have to come


out. Maybe it was a good thing that she lost a bit of that emotional


discipline and control. She got it back at the end of that second set


and hopes are still fairly high for a British win in this decider.


How well she's played the drop shot out here this afternoon.


Pliskova looks laid-back. She has certainly upped her level in the


last half an hour or so. A couple of chances here for the early break in


this deciding set. Fabulous from both of them. Pliskova


comes away with the game. And hit it is front now for the -- hits the


front now for the first time in the match. What are you seeing? I see a


let down from Konta, the intensity from her hasn't been what we saw in


the first set. In terms of her whole demeanour, the way she is playing


currently in comparison to the first set, and her body language. You can


just tell that the shoulders are just slightly slumped.


UMPIRE: Let, first serve. I do wonder if Konta is feeling


tired as well. Not necessarily physically, but emotionally.


Oh dear. She's gone again. It's in the same patch of court. I think


she's alright. Must be really greasy out there.


CROWD: Come on, Jo. Not such a bad fall she took at 3-1


down in the second set. Pliskova's level is fantastic at the moment.


Very quick to rub it in. Into double figures on aces now. The Czech


looking very strong here. The this is going to take a


super-human effort from Konta if she is to turn this match around.


UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging the call on the left baseline. The


ball was called out. How does Jo get back on track here?


She's got to steady herself up top. I mean, mentally. Call stands.


15-15. Just challenged by Pliskova, so 15-15.


That's a good point. I think this game is huge for Konta, to stop the


run of games against her. She's got to stay with Pliskova on the


scoreboard. Pliskova is a very good front-runner.


When she gets hold of it, she really does.


Such a clean strike. That is why it is better with the serve to go


straight up the body. The serve from Konta isn't as potent


as earlier in this match either. I get the sense there's a few miles


per hour come off her ground strokes as well. Yes. I think she's tired.


Fair enough. Oh, gosh!


UMPIRE: Miss Konta is challenging the call on the left baseline. The


ball was called in. It took a bounce as it hit the paint. Yeah. It did.


The call stands. A big blob of it. This is critical here for the


British number one. UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging


the call on the right baseline. The ball was called in.


I think Hawk-Eye will tell us this was well in. The call stands. That


could be expensive. A couple of break-points in this game already


saved. Not in the most conventional way.


Those ground shots were working well earlier on in the match. She's


become too predictable as to when she plays them now. Pliskova was


very quick up to that one. They know how important this game


is. Fifth deuce. Longest game of the


match now. That serve is straight into


Pliskova's hitting zone. Not just the power going down on Konta, the


accuracy as well. Has to face a fourth break-point in this game now.


UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova is challenging the call... This is the last


challenge that she's got. The players staring hopefully at the


screens. Nothing happening so far. If they can't find it - they have


found it. Wow. Replay the point. Deuce.


UMPIRE: Code violation, ball abuse. Konta is starting to unravel here.


And Pliskova building pressure in this game.


It's a double break. And things are not looking too good for the British


number one. UMPIRE: Miss Konta has requested her


coach. Miss Pliskova have requested her coach. Both requiring


assistance. Let's have a listen in. We have to stay calm to the very end


and make sure that we keep working. It is not easy.


Don't get discouraged. How do you not get discouraged? I mean, how do


you not get discouraged? You are creating opportunities. We have to


keep trying. That's all. There is not much I can come up with and not


much I can say to help. Other than please stay calm, please all the way


to the end. UMPIRE: Time. And don't get


discouraged. Might be worth remembering that she has never


beaten Karolina Pliskova in their four previous meetings. They have


all been tight. The last three have gone the distance, as has this one.


Tough to overturn that kind of head-to-head.


That's the first one she's missed in a while. Pliskova really has


elevated her level ever since she lost that opening set breaker.


This is tennis and stranger things have happened out there. Comebacks


are possible. Konta asking her coach how can she not be discouraged by


what is going on out there. She has to keep backing herself.


There is no other way. There is no point just giving yourself a hard


time out there. That is not going to achieve anything. Look at Andy


Murray in that Queen's final. He was pretty much out of it, a set and a


breakdown. Some encouragement possibly around


the corner for Konta. A chance to get one of the breaks back.


She did not look terribly spritely moving to that forehand? For sure,


Konta is feeling it. I wonder if it is the effects of a couple of those


falls that she's had in this match. Can't take your eyes off this one,


though. This is the second match for both


players today. You never know when Pliskova could start feeling it. She


didn't have such a tough quarterfinal as Konta.


That will do nicely, though. Konta retrieves one of the breaks.


The tennis is overrunning, but Eggheads will follow the end of this


game. UMPIRE: Correction - the call was


good. First serve. UMPIRE: Miss Pliskova challenges the


call on the right baseline, the ball was called out. This is the last


challenge she's got. I don't think it will be a successful one from


Pliskova. I'm with you. It is right under our commentary box. There is


still hope out here for Konta. Really well covered. Pliskova would


have loved to have challenged that first volley. It looked wide. It


looked really dicey. There was nothing she can do. She's out of


challenges and Konta can hold here. 40-30.


That's exactly what she does. The British number one might have second


wind and it's just the one break in this deciding set.


What a day they have had on Centre Court at Devonshire Park. Four


fabulous matches. I believe there is a doubles scheduled later on as


well. A perfect day for watching the tennis. It's been at such a high


level. We have had a treat this week at Eastbourne, so many great


matches. Who knows what the next 20 minutes or so will bring here.


She is so nonchalant, isn't she? Yeah.


UMPIRE: Miss Konta challenges the call on the left service line. The


service line judge called it out, then corrected himself, and now


Konta is challenging the correction, believing the serve was out. She is


wrong. The call stands. 30-0. Point given to Pliskova because the call


came after Konta hit the return. Giving the server the benefit of the


doubt. UMPIRE: The call came earlier. For


me, it was the call first... I didn't hit the ball because he


called it. For me, you hit the shot. It is always a grey area when


something like that happens. Unless we have a replay with sound, it is


not going to help us! A bit of frustration taken out on


that forehand from Konta. How good is Pliskova's nerve? I'd say pretty


good. I could be wrong. She is usually a very good front-runner.


You are rarely wrong! Super cool. Her tennis is very


simple. It is quite a weapon. You can see


why she serves more aces than anyone else on Tour, year in, year out,


right up there with Serena Williams. The coach, dad and agent not looking


too hopeful. Good hold from Konta. Keeping it


close. And keeping herself in this second semifinal.


The winner, tomorrow afternoon, will face Dominika Cibulkova, who,


earlier today, was brilliant against Monica Puig. Going into Wimbledon,


any strong thoughts? Who might have some good runs? Ooh. Without the


draw in front of me, it is hard to say. Cibulkova, who will feature in


tomorrow's final here, surely has to be a dark horse to cause a few


upsets. What about Madison Keys, who won in Birmingham? Yes, Madison Keys


is always dangerous, enjoys the grass, a huge serve, a big game. I'm


sure there will be a few upsets, there always are, particularly if


the year continues as it has done on Tour with so many of the big names


going out in the early rounds, looking so vulnerable.


UMPIRE: Time. A dozen aces now for Karolina


Pliskova. It's always the solution for her,


isn't it? A bit like Serena Williams. It's a big problem solver.


Wow. They have been on court for over two hours now and serving with


great pace and accuracy. She got the ball she wanted by


playing that forehand up the line so Pliskova went into her backhand. We


all know the backhand is the side she likes to try and do her damage


from. That's all her coach asked her to


do, don't get despondent, and she is getting a few second serves to look


at as well. Just to add to the drama, there is a


nasty shadow coming off the West Stand, coming across this court now.


Pliskova doing so well there. Another chance to close out this


game. The crowd are really trying to get


behind Johanna Konta out here. That's superb. Finally some emotion


from Pliskova. She is feeling it as well.


The Czech has been in good form. Champion in Nottingham a couple of


weeks ago. Just underlining her grass-court credentials.


Everyone here enjoyed that. A few mis-hits from both women out there.


Well done, Pliskova. That took some doing.


You just have to admire the Czech, how she's come back from the


disappointment of losing that first set. So, Konta, who has had a great


week here, serving to stay in this semifinal.


She made it. Pliskova thought about challenging but she doesn't have any


challenges remaining. Maybe not as sharp with her footwork


as she was in the opening set, or earlier today. It is understandable.


She has played a lot of tennis this week.


There has been some wonderful shot-making from the Czech. After


two and a quarter hours, she has match-point.


That's it! It's a first Eastbourne final for Czech Republic's Karolina


Pliskova. Ladies and gentlemen, through to the final of the Aegon


International, Karolina Pliskova! STUDIO: The shadows lepg lengthen,


but sadly for Johanna Konta, the dream of a first British title here


since the year we opted into the European Community has expeditioned.


The final is tomorrow at 1.15pm. After the momentous events of the


last 24 hours, the British are out of Eastbourne, too. Bye-bye.


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