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Johanna Konta made to pay for missed chances after semi-final defeat

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

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

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

Under coach Dimitri Zavialoff, Konta has regained the mental composure that was so striking when she hit a high of fourth in the rankings two years ago.

Underneath, though, the 28-year-old is of a nervous disposition and it was not surprising that it was bubbling to the surface on this high-pressure occasion.

Ultimately Konta was unable to convert three first-set points and paid the price.

‘It is always tough to lose a match, any match, and always tough to lose matches where you have opportunities and chances,’ said Konta afterwards.

Winning feeling: Marketa Vondrousova celebrates her victory over Johanna Konta

‘But I feel very comfortable and assured that I did the best I could out there.

‘It’s hard to lose any match like this but my opponent played well and I’m proud of how I played.’

Vondrousova plays Australian Ashleigh Barty in Saturday’s final.