Konta falls short as Cibulkova enjoys best day on grass


Johanna Konta was unable to come through the grind of playing two matches in a day as she lost in the semi-final of the Aegon International to Karolina Pliskova.

Weather delays had meant Konta, the 11th seed in Eastbourne, had been unable to start her last-eight clash with Ekaterina Makarova on Thursday. 

The British home hope was able to see off Makarova on Friday, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, but a three-set encounter with Pliskova in the semi-finals proved too much for her to overcome.

Konta took the first set on a tie-break but 10th seed Pliskova - who had earlier wrapped up a 6-1 6-3 victory over Elena Vesnina - roared back to progress 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-3.

Dominika Cibulkova will be Pliskova's opponent in the final, having easily seen off qualifier Monica Puig 6-2 6-1 in one hour and 12 minutes.

Puig had been the only player to secure a place in the semi-final amid the inclement weather on Thursday, while Cibulkova entered Friday's play a set and a break down to Agnieszka Radwanska.

But Cibulkova was able to turn that deficit around and Puig's extra rest evidently had no impact on the semi-final, with Cibulkova keeping her hopes of a sixth WTA singles title very much intact.

"I would say this is my best day on a grass court," Cibulkova said. "I'm extremely happy - I'm playing so well. She was really tough to play against because she's playing completely different tennis to Radwanska, she played well but I was just better."