Australian Open 2017: Johanna Konta 'prepared' for Serena Williams quarter-final

Williams match a great opportunity - Konta
Australian Open 2017
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne Dates: 16-29 Jan
Williams v Konta coverage: Wednesday, 02:00 GMT: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Wednesday, 16:45 GMT: TV highlights on BBC Two.

British number one Johanna Konta believes she has done everything she can to be ready for her first meeting with 22-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

Konta, 25, will face second seed Williams in the quarter-finals at around 02:00 GMT on Wednesday.

"I've played quite a few Grand Slam champions and former world number ones," said world number nine Konta.

"So I've prepared myself as much as possible for a competitor like Serena."

Konta beat Russian 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-4 to reach the last eight without dropping a set.

She has a 2-1 winning record over Serena's sister Venus - a seven-time Grand Slam winner and former world number one - including a first-round victory at last year's Australian Open.

It will be Konta's second quarter-final at a Grand Slam, after reaching the semi-final in Melbourne last year, compared to 35-year-old Serena's 47th.

"I've been fortunate enough that I've played her sister a few times and I think she's just as incredible," said Konta.

"I was thinking I'd love the opportunity to be on court with her before she retires. But I doubt she's talking retirement.

"She will be playing until the very last ball she can physically hit. Hopefully it won't be the last time I play her before she retires."

'I watch Konta a lot'

Serena Williams
Serena Williams can match her tally of seven Wimbledon titles with success in Melbourne

Serena, in pursuit of her seventh Australian Open title, had only played two matches between the end of the US Open in August and her first-round victory in Melbourne.

Konta, meanwhile, remained busy on tour and took her world ranking from 49 at the end of 2015 to a career-high of nine.

"I watch her game a lot. She's been doing really, really well, She has a very attacking game and I look forward to it," said Serena.

"I have absolutely nothing to lose in this tournament. Everything here is a bonus for me. Obviously I am here to win, and hopefully I can play better."


Eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova

"The game is there for Konta. It's all about the head now.

"It's a big ask when you've never played Serena Williams to beat her at a Grand Slam quarter-final but you never know. She's got the game to beat anyone.

"She needs to follow her game plan, believe in it and commit on every shot. If you have doubts then Serena eats you alive."

Former British number one Sam Smith

"I think Serena's looked great. There can't be any of these second-gear starts she had a few years ago.

"The match against Konta is another level. It will help Konta that she hasn't played her - there is no scar tissue.

"Serena wins her matches often in the first 15 seconds she strolls on to the court, but that's not going to happen with Jo."

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