Konta to meet Donna Vekic for place in quarter-finals at Roland Garros on Sunday
Johanna Konta became the first British female player to reach the last 16 of the French Open in 36 years after defeating Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova on Friday.
Not since Jo Durie in 1992 had any British woman made round three, and Konta’s 6-2 6-1 victory saw her emulate Durie and Anne Hobbs, who both made the last 16 in 1983, with the former going all the way to the semi-finals.
The 26th seed has never faced Kuzmova in a match before, but her Grand Slam experience told in the end as her variation proved too much for the promising world No 46, who was playing in just her seventh major event.
The draw has undoubtedly been kind to Konta, following wins over qualifier Antonia Lottner and 25-year-old wild card Lauren Davis, who is ranked world No 111.
She made a perfect start on a sparse Court Simonne Mathieu by racing into a 3-0 lead before her opponent managed to get back into the match.
But a number of unforced errors handed Konta the fourth break of serve in the set as she took it in 39 minutes.
The 21-year-old Slovakian is a rising talent but, after arriving in Paris on the back of a run to the final in the big WTA Tour event in Rome, Konta has been carrying plenty of confidence on the red dirt.
Konta was even more ruthless in the next set as she swatted aside Kuzmova to cruise through in just 54 minutes.
Konta told ITV4: “I had a lot of things go my way today and I think I knew going into the match that I really had to not give her the opportunity to have the time she needs to play well. Because when she has the time, she’s very hard to play.
“So I was just trying to take time away and try to impose myself as much as possible. I’m really pleased with that. I’m just really pleased to get through this one and give myself the opportunity to play another match.”
She will next meet Donna Vekic after the Croatian 23rd seed defeated Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-1.