I’ve grown as a player, says Konta ahead of clash with third seed Pliskova

Johanna Konta says she is a better player now than the one beaten by Karolina Pliskova in May.

Since Pliskova defeated Konta in straight sets in the final of the Italian Open, the British number one has reached the French Open semi-finals and the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

Now Konta has made the second week of a third consecutive grand slam, and faces third seed Pliskova in the fourth round of the US Open.

“I like to think that I’ve grown as a player since Rome,” she said.

“I am actually looking forward to seeing how I can do a bit better, how I can just maybe ask some better questions this time around.

“More than anything, it’s decision making and also probably in terms of when I play certain things or how I play certain things.

“I think just general awareness of being on court, just aware of what my opponents are doing.

“I’m putting a lot of time and effort in being very open to the game when I’m out on court. I think that’s been something that has been getting better for me.

“I feel like it’s enabled me to just play more relevant to the opponent that I have.”

While Konta has made relatively serene progress to the fourth round, Pliskova laboured to a three-set win over Tunisian Ons Jabeur in round three.

Pliskova said: “I think (Konta) has had a great year so far, she’s playing well at grand slams and getting some good results in the big tournaments.

“For me, she was always good player, so doesn’t matter how sometimes bad she maybe lost last year. That was not her best year, but still she can play, she can serve. She has big weapons.”

Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed, or 10th seed Madison Keys await the winner in the quarter-finals.

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