Johanna Konta battles to beat Simona Halep in Miami quarters

Johanna Konta celebrates during her thrilling comeback win over Simona Halep in Miami.  Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Johanna Konta celebrates during her thrilling comeback win over Simona Halep in Miami. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
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British No 1 Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to beat Simona Halep 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 and reach the Miami Open semi-finals.

Halep, the tournament’s third seed, broke early on in the match in the fourth game to take the opening set, despite Konta saving set points at 5-2 down.

The Brit battled back but was on the verge of being knocked out of the competition when – after breaking Halep in the 10th game of the second set to force a tie-break – she found herself 5-3 down.

However, three points in quick succession swung things back in her favour and she levelled up the match 9-7 in the tie break.

In the deciding set, Konta broke early on and saw off the challenge from Halep to become the first British woman to ever reach the last four at the Miami Open – where she will face top seed Angelique Kerber or Venus Williams.

The other semi-final will be between Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova.

Should Konta reach the final, she’s projected to return to the Top 10 when the WTA rankings are released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova has said she fought for the truth so she can end her career on her terms.

The former world No 1 was initially banned for two years after failing a doping test before having it reduced to 15 months on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sharapova will return to action at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, playing her first match the day after her suspension runs out on 26 April. The Russian’s impending return has been the hottest topic of conversation in tennis, with a number of players expressing discontent at Sharapova being given wild cards into the biggest tournaments on the WTA Tour.

Sharapova herself appears to see no reason to show remorse.

Speaking at the ANA Inspiring Women in Sports conference in California, reported by The Desert Sun newspaper, Sharapova said: “You always want to end your career or a chapter in your life on your terms and in your voice, and to be in a moment where you felt like it could have ended on someone else’s terms was very difficult to accept. And that’s why I fought so hard for the truth to be out.

“You don’t realise how much you love something and how much something means to you until you lose it for some time.”

Sharapova has spent her time away from tennis focusing on her business career.

The creator of Sugarpova sweets took classes at Harvard Business School and spent time shadowing NBA 
commissioner Adam Silver, at Nike headquarters and as an intern at an advertising agency. The 29-year-old also wrote her autobiography, which is due to be published in 
September.

Sharapova said: “I learned that life is okay without tennis, which is a very scary thought because once you’ve done something for so long you think, ‘What am I going to do when I don’t have that?’

“But my mind and my body still have the motivation to be the best tennis player I can be. I got my day job back.”