Eastbourne: Johanna Konta loses quarter-final to Belinda Bencic

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Konta v Bencic: 5 best rallies
Aegon International
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 20-27 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, online, tablets, mobiles and app from 13:00 BST on 23-26 June and 13:15 BST on Saturday. Also on Red Button on Tuesday.

British number two Johanna Konta's impressive run at the Aegon International came to an end against Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic in the Eastbourne quarter-finals.

Konta, 24, had beaten two top-20 players to reach the last eight, but lost 2-6 6-0 6-3 to the 18-year-old.

The Briton needed medical treatment in the changeover before the deciding set and could not deny Bencic victory.

"I'm really happy with the week in general," said Konta.

"But I have been struggling with some things and it kind of caught up to me today.

Belinda Bencic
Bencic is coached by Martina Hingis's mum - and had the five-time Slam winner in her Eastbourne box

"I have been on antibiotics this week. I have been ill. I have been slowly getting better, but it's difficult to get better with energy levels when you play against such high level players."

Bencic will face former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals after the second seed won 7-5 6-1 against Germany's Andrea Petkovic.

Konta, the world number 146, had already earned two of the finest wins of her career in Eastbourne - beating world number eight Ekaterina Makarova and 20th-ranked Garbine Muguruza.

But she could not replicate her success against Bencic, who is regarded as one of the world's best young female players.

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Konta broke Bencic's opening serve before wrapping up the first set in 35 minutes with a thumping ace.

Bencic, who has already reached a Grand Slam quarter-final at the 2014 US Open, showed signs of her vast potential by whitewashing Konta in the second set.

Konta appeared unwell at the changeover, receiving treatment on court from a doctor, before being given cleared to begin the decider.

However, world number 31 Bencic showed her greater experience of playing at the top level to reach the last four.

Sloane Stephens, who beat British number one Heather Watson in the last 16, will meet 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska in the other semi-final.

American Stephens advanced after Russia's Daria Gavrilova withdrew from their quarter-final because of an abdominal injury.

Meanwhile, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis will face Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the Aegon Open semi-finals in Nottingham. Baghdatis beat Italy's Simone Bolelli 6-4 6-4, while Istomin won 6-3 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (8-6) against Argentine fourth seed Leonardo Mayer.

The other semi-final will see number 12 seed Sam Querrey of the United States play Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov. In his quarter-final, Querrey beat French second seed Gilles Simon 5-7 7-6 (10-8) 6-4, while Dolgopolov beat Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4).

Former British number one Sam Smith
"Despite losing to Bencic, we have seen a different Johanna Konta from last year. She has been outstanding. I'm impressed with her movement, she seems to be reading the game better.
"I've always liked her backhand but her forehand was a big weakness. Now the swing path looks different. Her shots from the baseline are really heavy on both wings.
"She seems a lot calmer - she is playing the best tennis of her career so far. She has a brand of tennis which can take her deep into the top 100.
"But she is not used to playing at the intensity that Bencic is."

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