Konta beaten by Svitolina in US Open quarter-final
The British number one has lost all five career meetings with the Ukrainian.
Johanna Konta’s bid for US Open glory was ended in the quarter-finals by Elina Svitolina.
Konta was attempting to become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows since Jo Durie in 1983.
But she fell short against a familiar foe, fifth seed Svitolina extending her 100 per cent record against Konta to five matches, 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes.
Konta has been streets ahead of the rest of the field with the amount of winners she has hit this tournament, and she had another 24 here.
But that was offset by an unforced error count of 35, compared to just 13 from the metronomic Svitolina.
The Ukrainian made the first breakthrough in a hard-fought fifth game, Konta eventually succumbing with a backhand into the net.
Konta, with actor Tom Hiddleston watching from her box again, broke straight back. But she then promptly gave away break point with a misguided drop shot and Svitolina pounced again, arrowing a backhand into the corner.
Back came Konta with another break point, but it was repelled with an ace as Svitolina clinched the opening set.
Another unforced error handed Svitolina a break for 3-2 in the second as a Konta forehand drifted wide.
Konta immediately hit back for 3-3, a stunning drop shot flopping over the net just out of Svitolina’s reach, only to then find herself at 0-40, and when a volley fell short she was passed and broken once more.
Konta faced two match points on her own serve, and gamely saved both to force the ball back into Svitolina’s hand.
But Svitolina converted number three to make it back-to-back major semi-final appearances for her, having also reached the last four at Wimbledon.
The 24-year-old said: “I think we were both striking the ball well, it was quite even, I’m just very happy with the way I handled the pressure. I was just taking one point at a time and trying to stay calm.
“For all the Ukrainians it is not so easy when you are growing up, you don’t have much opportunity to travel and that’s why we are so determined when we get them.”