Barker backing for in-form Konta


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Sue Barker has backed Johanna Konta to win the French Open by suggesting she is playing the “best tennis of anybody” in Paris right now.

Konta, seeded 26th, is bidding to become the first British woman to reach the final at Roland Garros since Barker in 1976.

The British number one meets Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the last four, with their matched now to be played on Friday after rain ensured there was no play on Wednesday. Konta beat last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

Having never previously won a main-draw match at the clay-court Grand Slam before this year, 28-year-old Konta is one match away from her first Slam final.

Konta has only dropped one set on her march to the semi-finals and produced a stunning performance to see off seventh seed Stephens.

“Jo is playing the best tennis I have ever seen her play,” former world number three Barker said.

“It is her mental approach to matches. She used to have a wobble in matches and sometimes let the other player back in, but she just hasn’t had that in any match. “She dropped one set but even in that match she looked really good.

“I am really impressed that she is playing that well for the whole match. Her confidence must be sky high, hitting the ball that well and feeling it so well.

“She can go all the way here, I think she is playing the best tennis of anybody.” Konta is 4.00 to win the French Open and 2.63 to win her semi-final with Vondrousova in straight sets.

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